Officials: Drug Seizures At Border Up In 2011

Customs And Border Protection Says Illegal-Entry Detentions Down

POSTED: 4:08 pm PST December 12, 2011
UPDATED: 4:32 pm PST December 12, 2011

SAN DIEGO -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Southern California seized more than 158 tons of narcotics and stopped more than 100,000 attempts to enter the country illegally during the recently concluded federal fiscal year, the agency reported Monday.

From Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30 of this year, CBP agents working at inspection stations in San Diego and Imperial Counties halted 37,277 attempted illegal border-crossings, as compared with 41,710 the prior fiscal year, officials said.

In areas between ports of entry, federal officers made 72,638 detentions of undocumented immigrants trying to sneak into the United States during the latest fiscal year.

Over the same period, CBP personnel assigned to Southern California posts seized 289,107 pounds of marijuana, 17,650 pounds of cocaine, 8,113 pounds of methamphetamine and 1,136 pounds of heroin. Each of those figures represents an increase over the previous fiscal year.

Additionally, agents staffing the San Diego CBP Office of Field Operations at the ports of entry:
-- performed more than 62.5 million inspections for travelers entering the U.S., processing about 24.6 million passenger vehicles, 1.1 million trucks, 1.01 million buses and 16.4 million pedestrians
-- seized $5,767,000 in hidden and unreported currency heading out of the United States illegally
-- accounted for 31 percent of the marijuana, 29 percent of the cocaine, 29 percent of the heroin, and 69 percent of the methamphetamine seized at air, sea, and land ports of entry nationwide
-- performed 7.8 million agricultural inspections in passenger stations and 60,290 inspections in cargo facilities, resulting in 78,651 seizures of prohibited plant materials, soil, meat, or animal products and finding 977 cargo shipments that failed to meet the U.S. entry requirements
-- stopped 2,046 wanted fugitives with active felony warrants for such crimes as homicide, robbery and assault by local, state or federal police agencies, as compared with 1,774 apprehensions for the previous fiscal year
-- collected an estimated $150 million in duties and processed imported merchandise worth an estimated $33.3 billion
U.S. Border Patrol personnel, meanwhile, did the following over the recently concluded fiscal year:
-- performed 19 rescue missions, rescuing 27 people, as compared with 27 missions rescuing 44 people the prior year
-- seized almost $2 million
-- recorded 14 deaths within their area of responsibility, as compared with eight in fiscal 2010

For their part, agents with the San Diego Air and Marine Branch, CBP Office of Air and Marine contributed to more than 4,000 apprehensions of criminal suspects and seizures of more than $11 million, 58 weapons, 50 vehicles, 28 maritime vessels and an aircraft.

Air- and marine-interdiction agents and other personnel confiscated 776,263 pounds of marijuana, 824 pounds of cocaine, 671 pounds of methamphetamine, and nine pounds of heroin during operations along the border, joint details with the U.S. Border Patrol and work in support of other law enforcement agencies throughout California.

Also during fiscal 2011, the San Diego Air and Marine Branch of CBP logged more than 5,200 hours at sea, securing the ocean border near Southern California, and more than 8,100 hours in area skies. The El Centro Air Branch also contributed more than 2,500 hours of flight time securing U.S. borders.