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Tag: CBP

U.S. Teen Arrested for Using Remote-Controlled Car to Transport Meth Across Border

Remote-controlled car seized by Border Patrol, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A 16-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested after Border Patrol agents said he was transporting methamphetamine across the border using a remote-controlled car.

Agents on Sunday arrested the boy, who was spotted walking along a secondary border wall with two duffel bags stuffed with 50 packages of meth weighing nearly 56 pounds. He also had a remote-controlled car.

Meth found in duffel bags, via CBP.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $106,096, according to CBP.

The arrest comes two years after agents foiled drug traffickers who were using a remote-controlled drone to fly the narcotics across the border. In that case, a 25-year-old drone operator was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison.

“I am extremely proud of the agents’ heightened vigilance and hard work in stopping this unusual smuggling scheme,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said in a news release.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Calls for Dismantling ICE, CBP And Pausing Deportations

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Detroit rally. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled his immigration plans Thursday, calling for a moratorium on deportations and an end to ICE raids and President Trump’s “racist and ineffective” wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The long-anticipated plan, entitled “A Welcoming and Safe America for All,” pushes for a pathway to citizenship and says “Trump has manufactured” a humanitarian crisis at the border.

Sanders also wants to dismantle ICE and CBP and “redistribute their functions to their proper authorities.” To do so, Sanders is calling for the restructuring of the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that the Vermont senator voted against in 2002.

Under the plan, the Justice Department would once again handled deportation, enforcement and border authority. The Treasury Department would take over customs. And the State Department would handle naturalization and citizenship authority.

If elected, Sanders says he will “end the barbaric practice of ripping children from their parents and locking children in cages” on his first day in office.

Sanders also pledges to end Trump’s “racist and disgusting Muslim ban and instruct DOJ to drop any litigation or funding restrictions relating to sanctuary cities.”

Border Patrol Agent Fatally Shoots Suspect Near Mexican Border

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man who opened first on agents about a mile from the Mexican border on Monday morning, immigration officials say.

CBP officials said the agents were investigating illegal border crossings in Sunland, New Mexico, when they came across the suspect and began chasing him, Las Cruces Sun News reports.

During the foot pursuit, the suspect shot at two Border Patrol agents, officials said. No agents were injured.

The agents tried to provide medical care to the wounded suspect, who was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The New Mexico State Police Investigation Bureau is trying to identify the suspect and notify his family. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspect was a U.S. citizen.

The agent involved in the shooting works at the agency’s Santa Teresa station, which is part of Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector.

CBP Considers Affixing Body Cams to Some Border Patrol Agents

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some Border Patrol agents may soon be wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public.

CBP is looking for body cameras for agents who work at checkpoints and ports near the border, which often are in remote areas without telecommunications and other basic technology.

CBP on Wednesday posted a request for information for body cams, video-management systems and cloud storage.

“CBP anticipates storing most footage in CBP-owned data servers, but is also interested in cloud storage for evidentiary footage requiring long-term retention—defined as longer than two years,” the request for information states. “Footage stored will be secure, law enforcement sensitive data and should comply with all relevant federal laws, regulations and requirements. CBP also anticipates its users will require a cloud storage platform for frequently accessed files.”

CBP is asking for bids by Oct. 31.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Soliciting Prostitution from Undocumented Immigrant

Donato Cantu, 43.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been charged with soliciting an undocumented immigrant for prostitution in Laredo.

Donato Cantu, 43, was served with a warrant Friday and is accused of soliciting the sex worker while off duty.

CBP confirmed the arrest.

“He has been with the service for over 13 years,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “As a matter of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not comment on on-going investigations. Inquiries regarding the case are best directed to the Webb County District Attorney’s Office.”

The agency added, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection holds its employees accountable and expects the entire workforce to adhere to the agency’s standards of conduct.”

The FBI and CBP Office of Professional Responsibility had been investigating the case for several months and discovered that the undocumented immigrant used social media and other websites to find clients for sex work.

Nearly 1 Million Migrants Apprehended This Year, Most in 12 Years

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1 million migrants were apprehended along the southern U.S. border during the government’s fiscal year that ended Sept. 31, an 88% increase over 2018.

“These numbers are numbers that no immigration system in the world is designed to handle, including ours,” CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said at a media briefing at the White House on Tuesday.

The number of unauthorized crossings is higher than any year in the past 12 year, a “staggering” increase, Morgan said.

The highest number of migrants taken into custody in one year is 1.6 million in 2000.

Eyes in the Sky: How CBP Combats Drug Smuggling with Blimps

A CBP blimp, via Donna Burton of CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Blimps hovering 10,000 feet above the U.S. border are helping combat drug smuggling operations.

Customs and Border Protection is using eight unmanned, unarmed blimps as eyes in the sky as part of the agency’s Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS).

“TARS is the most cost-efficient capability that we own,” Richard Booth, director of domain operations and integration for CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, says on CBP’s website. “TARS is like a low-flying satellite system, but cheaper to launch and operate.”

The blimps “fly like kites in the wind,” said Rob Brown, CBP program manager for TARS.

“Raising radar and other sensors to high altitude boosts surveillance range, and the physical sight of an aerostat is a visual deterrent to illegal activity in the air and on the ground,” Brown said.

Drug smugglers often fly low to avoid ground-based radar, but they can’t evade the blimps’ radar.

Border Patrol Agents Take Over Screening Migrant Families from Asylum Officers

Via CBP

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The fate of migrant families seeking protection in the U.S. will now be determined by Border Patrol agents, instead of the highly trained asylum officers who are highly trained in refugee laws.

Border Patrol agents, who will screen families for “credible fear” in the new pilot program, are beginning to get trained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, lawyers and several employees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told Los Angeles Times.

The Trump administration has long advocated using law enforcement officers to interview asylum seekers to determine whether families have a “credible fear” persecution in their home countries. The idea is that Border Patrol agents are less likely to provide asylum to families.

“It’s creating significant strain for our clients — not just because they’re unprepared and untrained,” Shay Fluharty, an attorney with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, told The Times. “We understand that the intention is to significantly limit asylum officers who are conducting these interviews and have them be primarily conducted by Border Patrol.”