Should the USA close the Southern Border

Thursday, March 31, 2011


U.S. Border Patrol Seizes More Than $264K of Marijuana and Currency in San Diego
(Thursday, March 31, 2011)

contacts for this news release

San Diego - Early Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two U.S. citizens, one male and one female, and a female Jamaican national suspected of smuggling nearly 300 pounds of marijuana near the Border Patrol checkpoint in Temecula, Calif.

Seized Drugs and Cash-Temecula

Agents stopped two suspicious vehicles, a 2003 Volvo SUV and a 2011 Chevrolet Impala rental car traveling in tandem on southbound Interstate 15 near Mission Road. At approximately 2:30 a.m., agents questioned the driver of the Volvo, a 22-year-old male resident of Los Angeles, and the 31-year-old driver and 21-year-old passenger of the Impala. Agents became suspicious of the nervous demeanor and inconsistent answers of the three individuals.

A Border Patrol K-9 team was summoned and performed a cursory inspection of the two vehicles, both resulting in a positive alert. Agents performed a search of the Volvo and discovered 63 cellophane-wrapped marijuana bundles with a total weight of 295 pounds and an estimated street value of nearly $177,000. A subsequent search of the Impala revealed $25,294 in cash located in the center console.

The suspected drug smugglers, narcotics, currency and Volvo were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Later in the day, Border Patrol agents assigned to the I-8 checkpoint near Pine Valley, Calif., arrested a 48-year-old female Mexican national for attempting to smuggle 103 pounds of marijuana in the tires of a 1995 GMC SUV.

A Border Patrol K-9 team inspection resulted in a positive alert to all four of the GMC’s tires. Agents removed the tires and uncovered more than 103 pounds of marijuana concealed inside with an estimated street value of more than $62,000. The suspected smuggler and narcotics were turned over to a multi-agency drug task force. The 1995 GMC SUV was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

To prevent the smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a strong enforcement posture on major routes of egress from the border, including the Interstate 15 corridor. Since the beginning of the 2011 fiscal year, agents in the San Diego Sector have seized more than 52,529 pounds of marijuana.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Border Patrol to boost O.C. presence

U.S. Border Patrol agents plan to increase their Orange County presence as maritime smuggling of people and drugs is on the rise, officials said.
"You're going to see a lot more Border Patrol agents in your area," Steve McPartland, supervising agent at the Border Patrol station south of San Clemente, told about 60 people at a town hall meeting Thursday night in Dana Point.
Border Patrol agents want local residents to look out for panga boats like this one photographed April 14 at San Onofre State Beach. The patrol's San Diego sector plans to increase its presence in Orange County as more immigrant smugglers land on the county's coast. More than 20 people from this boat were detained.
It was the first time the Border Patrol had held a meeting to address its new battle on the sea following at least four recent apprehensions at local beaches of groups of people suspected of sailing to the country illegally.
In one those cases, Feb. 15, agents apprehended 18 Mexican nationals in a boat off Dana Point. That was a day after a similar group was apprehended at San Onofre State Beach.
Officials point to tighter scrutiny of land borders as a cause for the new sea smuggling routes. They say that despite the rise in illegal operations on the water, the overall number of people trying to enter the country illegally has dropped.
The Border Patrol's San Diego sector, which covers San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, has held many town halls in border towns to talk about how to report suspicious activity connected to land crossings. But now agents are preparing coastal communities to do the same and described Dana Pont Harbor as an optimum spot for smuggling.
"Quite frankly, we can't be everywhere at once," McPartland said.
He flipped through a slide show of images of panga boats, water scooters and sailboats, all of which could be used by smugglers. In fiscal 2010, which began in October 2009, federal agents apprehended 867 people coming in from the sea, according to Border Patrol records. In fiscal 2009, maritime apprehensions were about half that, and a quarter as much the year before. Paul Beeson, chief patrol agent of the San Diego sector, said apprehensions are likely to reach beyond 2010's numbers this year.
The boats often start at Rosarito Beach, Mexico, go out 40 miles and then head north. Many stop on the San Diego coast, but recently more are stopping along the 42 miles of Orange County coastline, often in the pre-dawn hours, with the occupants rushing toward vehicles ready to spirit them away.
"Orange County has become the issue now. It's the center of the action," McPartland said.
If you see a small boat, a life vest or gas cans and other fuel containers along the beach, report it, agents said.
And while human smuggling is increasing onshore, more drugs are being transported in ultra light aircraft – a common occurrence along the Arizona border that is creeping into California as well, officials said. Pleasure boats also are beginning to be used more for drug transport because they are unexpected, McPartland said.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Illegal Dies in East San Diego Mtns.

Seven suspected illegal immigrants rescued in mountains but an eighth dies in cold

March 3, 2011 |  5:36 pm

U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued seven suspected illegal immigrants found shivering in the mountains east of San Diego but an eighth died of hypothermia, officials said Thursday.

The seven were taken to hospitals.

The rescue effort began when agents got a 911 call from immigrants lost in the cold. Using GPS equipment, agents from the Pine Valley station found the seven immigrants late Saturday. The body of the eighth was found after midnight Sunday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ICE makes arrest of 20,000th Gang Member!

I.C.E. News Release
March 1, 2011
Washington, DC
678 gang members and associates arrested during Project Southern Tempest
ICE makes arrest of 20,000th gang member
WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced today the arrests of 678 gang members and associates from 133 different gangs during Project Southern Tempest, an intensive ICE HSI-led law enforcement operation executed in 168 U.S. cities targeting gangs affiliated with drug trafficking organizations (DTO).
Through Project Southern Tempest, ICE HSI agents worked side by side with 173 of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to apprehend individuals from 13 gangs affiliated with DTOs in Mexico. More than 46 percent of those arrested during this operation were members or associates of gangs with ties to DTOs.
During this operation, which started in December 2010 and culminated in February 2011, the ICE HSI-led Salt Lake City Operation Community Shield Task Force arrested the 20,000 gang member since inception of the anti-gang program in 2005.
Transnational criminal street gangs have significant numbers of foreign-national members and are frequently involved in human smuggling and trafficking; narcotics smuggling and distribution; identity theft and benefit fraud; money laundering and bulk cash smuggling; weapons smuggling and arms trafficking; cyber crimes; export violations; and other crimes with a nexus to the border.
"Project Southern Tempest is the largest ever ICE-led gang enforcement operation targeting gangs with ties to drug trafficking organizations," said ICE Director John Morton. "Through gang enforcement operations like Project Southern Tempest and Project Big Freeze last year, ICE will continue to disrupt and dismantle these transnational gangs and rid our streets not only of drug dealers, but the violence associated with the drug trade."
"ICE is an important partner in bringing federal prosecutions against dangerous gang members," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates. "Since Operation Community Shield began in 2005, ICE investigations in our District alone have resulted in numerous indictments against gang members, including charges for seven separate murders, at least five carjackings, several armed robberies and over 40 criminal immigration offenses. The partnership between ICE and our office serves to make neighborhoods stronger and safer by removing and prosecuting criminal gang members."
"By pooling our resources and our intelligence, we've succeeded in taking some very dangerous people off of the streets," said South Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Snyder. "Our goal in partnering with ICE and other law enforcement agencies is to make our cities safer. The gang members and drug dealers targeted in this operation have no regard for the law and their continued illegal activities degrade the quality of life in our communities."
Of the 678 gang members or associates arrested:
they hailed from 133 different gangs;
447 were charged with criminal offenses;
231 were administrative arrests;
322 had violent criminal histories;
421 were foreign nationals.
In addition to the 678 arrests, 164 individuals were arrested for federal and/or state criminal violations, or administrative immigration violations. Of the 164, 117 were charged with criminal offenses, 46 had violent criminal histories, 47 were administrative arrests and 78 were foreign nationals. In addition to the arrests, during the operation agents seized 86 firearms, eight pounds of methamphetamine, 30 pounds of marijuana, one pound of cocaine, more than $70,000 in U.S currency and two vehicles.
Like any street gang, these transnational gangs also have a propensity toward violence. Their members committed a number of violent crimes including robbery, extortion, assault, rape and murder.
Among those arrested during Project Southern Tempest were:
Andrey Melnikov, 36, a Russian national with legal permanent residence status and an associate of the Valleros gang was arrested in Oceanside, Calif., for auto theft. His criminal convictions include possession of weapon on school grounds/carrying loaded firearm public place and felon in possession of a firearm.
Cesar Enrique Barreiro, 27, a U.S. citizen and member of the Lennox 13 gang was arrested in Lennox, Calif., for RICO charges from an ongoing multi-agency investigation. His criminal convictions include for aggravated assault with serious bodily injury. He faces federal criminal prosecution on racketeering charges.
Shawn Allison, 32, a Jamaican national and member of the Jamaican Posse gang was arrested in Bronx, N.Y., for attempted murder. His convictions include possession with intent to distribute and criminal contempt. He faces state criminal prosecution on charges of attempted murder.
Rodimiro Burquez-Cortez, 34, a Mexican national and Surenos gang associate was arrested in Provo, Utah, for re-entry after deportation and narcotics and weapon offenses. His criminal convictions include illegal re-entry; carrying a concealed weapon, assault, DWI, illegal possession of controlled substance, possession of dangerous weapon. He faces federal criminal prosecution for re-entry of previously removed alien, illegal alien in possession of a firearm, and felon in possession of a firearm.
Gustavo Morales, 52, a Mexican national and an associate of the Boomerangz gang was arrested in Reading, Pa., for federal offenses related to narcotics and weapons violations. His criminal history has a conviction for re-entry. He faces federal prosecution for illegal re-entry and narcotics and weapon offenses.
Those arrested came from 24 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Of the total number of arrested, 776 were males and 72 were females.
This enforcement operation is part of Operation Community Shield, a global initiative, in which ICE HSI partners with existing federal, state, local and foreign anti-gang efforts to share intelligence on criminal gang organizations and their leadership, share resources and combine legal authorities to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute, imprison and/or deport transnational gang members.
ICE HSI began rolling out Operation Community Shield Task Forces (OCSTFs) throughout the nation as well as in Central America in 2010. There are currently eight OCSTFs in cities including Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Salt Lake City; San Angelo, Texas; and St. Paul, Minn., as well as one in Honduras. It is these critical partnerships with law enforcement here in the United States and overseas that enables ICE HSI to target a gang's structural leadership and criminal enterprise in the U.S. and in their countries of origin.
Since the inception of Operation Community Shield in 2005, through Jan. 31, 2011, ICE HSI agents working in conjunction with federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies have arrested 20,373 gang members and associates. These apprehensions include 9,590 criminal arrests and 10,783 civil arrests. Of the more than 20,000 arrests, 249 of those arrested were gang leaders, 3,414 were MS-13 members or associates and 7,699 had violent criminal histories. Through this initiative, more than 1,600 firearms have been taken off the streets.
The National Gang Unit within ICE HSI identifies violent street gangs and develops intelligence on their membership, associates, criminal activities and international movements to deter, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal gang operations by tracing and seizing cash, weapons and other assets derived from illicit activities.
Federal agencies involved in Project Southern Tempest include the FBI; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the U.S. Marshals Service.
To report suspicious activity, call ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or visit .
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit . To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.
U.S. Dept of Homeland Security