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Tag: Border

160 CBP Employees Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

At least 160 Customs and Border Protection employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The employees, who include customs officers and border agents, are stationed in at least 20 cities in the U.S., according to the agency’s site dedicated to COVID-19.

There are 52 cases in New York City, 17 in Miami, and 10 in each Los Angeles and Newark.

This is the first time CBP released information on its employees impacted by COVID-19.

Other federal agencies are getting hit hard. More than 100 TSA employees in more than two dozen states have become infected.

Federal Agents Seize $30M Worth of Drugs in ‘Sophisticated’ Smuggling Tunnel

Drugs found inside a half-mile tunnel. Via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents seized thousands of pounds of drugs in a “sophisticated” smuggling tunnel that extends from a warehouse in Mexico to another warehouse in San Diego.

Inside the half-mile tunnel were 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than two pounds of fentanyl worth nearly $30 million, ICE announced in a news release.

The tunnel included reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.

“I’m proud of the excellent work performed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, as well as U.S. Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement Administration agents as integrated partners of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force. Their tenacity made the difference in shutting down this tunnel,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Diego. “I hope this sends a clear message that despite the ongoing public health crisis, HSI and our law enforcement partners will remain resilient and continue to pursue criminal organizations responsible for the cross-border smuggling of narcotics into the United States.”

Border Protection Employees Tasked with Stopping Nonessential Traffic Between Canada, U.S.

Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, where traffic comes and goes from Canada.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border protection employees have a new job at the U.S.-Canada border: Denying nonessential travelers entry into the country.

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday morning that the U.S. and Canada have reached a deal to close the border to nonessential traffic to combat the coronavirus.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted. “Trade will not be affected.”

U.S. and Canadian officials had been working on a ban on nonessential travel between the two countries. Trade and commerce won’t be affected, Trump said.

CBP Finds Human Brain in Shipment Coming from Canada

Human brain found at the Canadian-Michigan border.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were in for a surprise when they inspected a Canadian mail truck that had crossed the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich.

They found a human brain specimen inside a glass jar. It was not accompanied by any of the mandated paperwork or documentation to bring the brain into the country, CBP says in a news release.

The shipment originated in Toronto and was headed for Kenosha, Wis.

“Individuals looking to import shipments such as this, need to remember that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a strict Import Permit Program that must be adhered to,” Area Port Director Michael Fox said. “This is just another great example of just one of the many things CBP officers do to protect our nation on a daily basis.”

CBP has notified the CDC of the discovery.

Former Border Patrol Agent Who Helped Drug Traffickers Gets 6 Years in Prison

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent in Arizona was sentenced to six years in prison after admitting he helped drug traffickers cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jose Antonio Yanez, 50, was also ordered to pay more than $340,000 of his salary back while conspiring with traffickers, KVOA reports.

Yanez had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, receiving a bribe, and importation of a schedule IV controlled substance. At the time, Yanez was working at Border Patrol’s Douglas and Naco stations.

According to prosecutors, Yanez assisted smugglers carrying marijuana by providing sensitive material and information, turning cameras away from the smugglers and vacating his area of responsibility as the smuggling vehicles crossed the border.

Border Officials Discover Longest Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Ever Found Along Southwest Border

Longest drug-smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials said Wednesday they discovered the largest drug-smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border.

The intricate, bending tunnel stretches more than three-quarters of a mile and features a rail system, forced air ventilation, elevator and a complex drainage system.

The 5-and-a-half-foot tall tunnel begins in an industrial area in Tijuana, Mexico, and meanders more than 4,300 feet into a San Diego neighborhood, CBP said.

“I am thrilled that this high level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling. I am proud of the tremendous efforts of the Tunnel Task Force and our agents,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said in a news release.

“The sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego.

Officials first discovered the tunnel in August.

“As efforts to strengthen security on our Southern Border increase, Mexican drug cartels are forced underground to smuggle their deadly drugs into the United States,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery. “The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels.  And although the cartels will continue to use their resources to try and breach our border, the DEA and our partners on the Tunnel Task Force will continue to use our resources to ensure they fail, that our border is secure, and that tunnels like this are shut down to stem the flow of deadly drugs entering the United States.”

Vultures Are Pooping on a CBP Radio Tower, Disrupting Communications

Vultures are covering the tower in feces and corrosive vomit.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Vultures are causing a major headache for U.S. Customs and Border Protection near the Mexican border in southern Texas.

A 320-foot radio tower for CBP in Kingsville is covered in feces, vomit and urine, Quartz reports.

About 300 vultures are roosting on the tower and disrupting communications because of the corrosive excrement.

The agency plans to clean and repair the radio tower and the install a “Vulture Deterrence Netting System” by August before the carnivorous birds’ roosting cycle begins in the fall.

Border Patrol Agents at Risk As Migrants Increasingly Cross Border Using Sewage-Filled Culverts

Via CBP

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are encouraging migrants to cross the U.S.-Mexico border using a culvert system that drains raw sewage at the U.S.-Mexico border.

By doing so, Border Patrol agents, emergency workers and migrants face the risk of drowning and being exposed to highly toxic substances, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Sewage flows through the Tijuana River Valley culvert system during storms, quickly traversing a maze of drainage pipes that empties out at the border.

At least 45 migrants have been apprehended while using the sewer and storm water tunnels since October, Agent Jarrett Decker, a public affairs officer in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, says.

The quick-moving storm water is unpredictable and contains a sewage, cancer-causing chemical waste and industrial compounds.

“A lot of times, agents are risking their own lives to save someone here,” Decker said.