United States Border Patrol agents of San Diego Sector have demonstrated significant law enforcement achievements along the 60 linear miles of border shared with Mexico and the 114 miles of coastal border during fiscal year 2010.
San Diego Sector now employs over 2,500 uniformed agents assigned to six line-watch stations in Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, Brown Field, El Cajon, Campo, and Boulevard, and two northern egress stations in San Clemente and Murrieta. This is a significant deployment of personnel when compared to the staffing levels of 1993, when San Diego Sector had approximately 1,000 agents.
In fiscal year 2010, San Diego Sector Border Patrol launched a comprehensive enforcement strategy known as “Campaign Stronghold,” with focused goals of targeting transnational criminal organizations while raising the level of effective border control. Effective control is achieved when there is a high probability that agents will detect all illegal entries in between official ports of entry, and bring them to a law enforcement resolution.
At the conclusion of fiscal year 2010, San Diego Sector reached its goal to establish effective operational control in 51 of the 60 land border miles within its area of responsibility. This was done by targeting 22 additional border miles under Campaign Stronghold.
Paul Beeson, Chief Patrol Agent of San Diego Sector said, “I am very pleased with our progress which indicates 85 percent of the land border with Mexico within San Diego Sector’s area of responsibility is under a high level of effective control. The level of border security achieved over the years has resulted in an increase in the quality of life along the border as noted by the development of housing, shopping malls, small businesses and community infrastructure.”
From Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010, San Diego Sector Border Patrol accomplishments included the apprehension of 68,565 persons for illegal entry into the country. This is a 42 percent decrease from the previous fiscal year apprehension number of 118,721, and an 89 percent decrease from fiscal year 1986 when there were 628,370 apprehensions, a record number for San Diego.
Nationwide, the United States Border Patrol apprehended 463,382 persons; San Diego Sector apprehensions accounted for 14.8 percent of this total. Overall apprehensions for fiscal year 2010 along the southwest border with Mexico were 447,731. San Diego Sector accounted for 15.3 percent of those apprehensions.
San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents seized 21,576pounds of marijuana, a 19.4 percent decrease over fiscal year 2009. Cocaine seizures decreased 24.2 percent to almost 1,343 pounds; heroin seizures decreased 15.7 percent to over 501 pounds; and methamphetamine seizures increased 28.5 percent to nearly 394 pounds.
There were a total of 2,417,170 pounds of marijuana, over 10,182 pounds of cocaine, 4,576 pounds of heroin, and 933 pounds of methamphetamine seized along the southwest border by the United States Border Patrol.
The focused enforcement efforts of San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents accounted for 12.8 percent of the cocaine, 10.8 percent of the heroin, and 32.6 percent of the methamphetamine seized by the U.S. Border Patrol nationwide.
These results did not come without significant challenges and enormous dangers. There were a total of 130 assaults on agents while in the performance of their duties. Fortunately, this was a decrease of 48 percent from the prior fiscal year. In 2003, there were 377 incidents, a highpoint for recorded assaults on agents.
As effective control along the land border was achieved through effective use of personnel, technology and infrastructure, there was a doubling in recorded maritime smuggling attempts along the San Diego coastline. During Fiscal Year 2009, there were 49 seizures with 400 arrests. This fiscal year there were 110 seizures with 867 arrests.
These maritime results are due to the collaborative law enforcement efforts of the San Diego Maritime Unified Command which is comprised of the Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard and other local, state and federal agencies operating in the San Diego maritime domain.
“These impressive achievements are the direct results of the brave men and women in uniform honorably serving and courageously protecting our communities,” said Paul Beeson, Chief Patrol Agent. “San Diego Sector will continue to target transnational threats and criminal organizations that seek to profit from illicit activities. We will work tirelessly to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat these threats in order to protect America.”