LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Laredo Port of Entry recently seized over $600,000 in cocaine in one enforcement action.

“This seizure demonstrates a great example of teamwork from our CBP officers,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “Our CBP officers’ experience, hard work, perseverance and utilization of the canine and non-intrusive imaging system resulted in the interception of these hard narcotics.”

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EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents throughout the Rio Grande Valley arrested several criminals over the past few days.

On Monday morning, McAllen agents arrested a Mexican national as he illegally entered the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. During processing, it was revealed the man had an outstanding warrant from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office for sexual assault of a child.

That same day, agents arrested a Salvadoran national traveling with his 2 year-old son near Hidalgo, Texas. Record checks confirmed the man is a member of the notoriously violent Mara Salvatrucha gang, also known as MS-13.

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EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents continue to encounter illegal aliens in distress throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

On Monday afternoon, the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Falfurrias Border Patrol station regarding an emergency call from a man who was lost after being abandoned by smugglers. The man stated he was traveling with another person and both were in need of assistance. The Border Patrol’s Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) unit responded and located the two men.

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Defendants Trafficked Items that Included Fake Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch Handbags, Michael Kors Wallets, Hermes Belts and Chanel Perfume

Earlier today, six indictments and one criminal complaint were unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging a total of 22 defendants with illegally bringing into the United States millions of dollars of Chinese-manufactured goods by smuggling them through ports of entry on the East and West Coasts. One defendant is also charged with unlawful procurement of naturalization. Twenty-one defendants were arrested this morning, and their initial court appearances and arraignments are scheduled before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom.

The charges include conspiracy to traffic, and trafficking, in counterfeit goods; conspiracy to smuggle, and smuggling, counterfeit goods into the United States; money laundering conspiracy; immigration fraud and unlawful procurement of naturalization. In addition, the government restrained nine real properties in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York belonging to the defendants.

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The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) on Friday held the investiture of 23 new immigration judges, which increases the total number of immigration judges to 351. Since the end of January 2017, 82 immigration judges have been sworn in, and EOIR anticipates three additional hiring classes this fall that will total at least 75 more immigration judges.

As part of a series of common-sense reforms to the immigration court system, Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year introduced a “streamlined hiring plan” emphasizing clear deadlines for ensuring immigration judge candidates move efficiently through the hiring process. Due to this effort, some of the immigration judges sworn-in on Friday were hired in approximately 266 days, down from an average of 742 days just one year ago.

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The Department of Justice and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have proposed a reduction for controlled substances that may be manufactured in the U.S. next year. Consistent with President Trump’s “Safe Prescribing Plan” that seeks to “cut nationwide opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years,” the proposal decreases manufacturing quotas for the most six frequently misused opioids for 2019 by an average ten percent as compared to the 2018 amount. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) marks the third straight year of proposed reductions, which help reduce the amount of drugs potentially diverted for trafficking and used to facilitate addiction.

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