Customs and Border Protection

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Feds Seize $1.6M in Counterfeit Hoverboards

Counterfeit hoverboards are exploding—er, proliferating—in the US

(Newser) - Federal officers recently seized nearly 2,400 counterfeit—and possibly prone to explode —hoverboards in shipments that arrived at South Carolina's Port of Charleston, the Charleston City Paper reports. The hoverboards , which were made in China, would have been worth more than $1.6 million retail, according to... More »

Man Allegedly Smuggled Live Birds in His Pants

Authorities say he had a few more in a fanny pack

(Newser) - We would have been concerned about birds' well-documented taste for worms, but to each their own. A traveler arriving from Cuba was caught trying to smuggle nine live birds—three of them in the "groin area" of his pants—Jan. 9 at Miami International Airport, according to US Customs... More »

The 6 Oddest Things Seized by Customs in 2015

Smugglers will put drugs into anything

(Newser) - Customs and Border Protection released its list of the 10 weirdest things it seized in 2015, and as ABC News reports, everything from bugs to drugs to hoverboards made the list in a testament to smugglers' ongoing battle between impressive creativity and astounding stupidity. Here are six of the oddest... More »

After Skirmish, US Agent Kills Man at Canadian Border

Agent shot man in head after pepper spray attack: officials

(Newser) - A US border agent fatally shot a man in the head yesterday afternoon during an apparent confrontation at a border crossing in Sumas, Wash. An officer reported shots fired about 1,000 feet from the US-Canada border around 2:45pm local time, the Bellingham Herald reports. US Customs and Border... More »

Police: LAPD Cop Tried to Smuggle Man Across Border

Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr., 34, ordered to live with his parents, can't drink

(Newser) - US Customs and Border Protection officers thought there was something amiss about a white Nissan Juke when it tried to cross from Mexico to California Saturday night. Sure enough, after a secondary inspection involving an X-ray-like machine, officers popped the trunk of the car transporting LAPD officer Carlos Curiel Quezada... More »

Amid Record Meth Seizures at Border, a 'Clear Trend'

Would-be smugglers are strapping it to their bodies, says official

(Newser) - Stashed in gas tanks, fire extinguishers, even wheels of cheese—those were some of the ways drug runners tried and failed in fiscal 2014 to smuggle methamphetamine through ports at the California-Mexico border, where meth seizures reached record levels, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. According to US Customs and Border... More »

Man Tasered at US Border Crossing Dies

He attacked officers, 4 received 'moderate injuries'

(Newser) - A man who struggled with US Customs and Border Protection agents at the San Ysidro, Calif., crossing on Christmas Eve died after being Tasered. The 40-year-old came into the US from Mexico via the pedestrian walkway around 7pm, the Los Angeles Times reports, but agents soon discovered an outstanding felony... More »

US Border Guards Shoot Armed Canadian

Guy had confronted police at a McDonald's in Windsor

(Newser) - US border guards shot and wounded an armed Canadian today after the man allegedly walked onto the Ambassador Bridge and pointed a gun at them, the CBC reports. According to US Customs and Border Protection, the officers told him to drop his weapon when he appeared at around 3am on... More »

Now Patrolling the Mexico Border: Drones

Predators have monitored nearly half of border since 2013

(Newser) - Predator drones guard nearly half the US-Mexico border where camera towers, ground sensors, agents, and fences are absent. Able to patrol remote areas like mountains and canyons, the drones capture high-resolution footage of an area every three days, the AP reports in an exclusive. Analysts then check the videos using... More »

Alleged Meth Smuggler Chooses Wrong Parking Lot

Sylvia Mashiah busted with 27 pounds of meth after parking in federal 'search' lot

(Newser) - You just had one job, suspected drug smuggler: to get across the US-Mexico border with 27 pounds of meth. And technically, Sylvia Mashiah allegedly did that—until she screwed it all up, according to Customs and Border Protection agents. The 33-year-old California woman allegedly drove up to the Otay Mesa... More »

Border Officers Have Killed 46, Face No Consequences: Report

Customs and Border Protection hasn't released officers' names

(Newser) - US border officers and agents have killed dozens of people, including Americans, since 2004, but it appears they haven't faced any discipline for their actions, the Arizona Republic reports. Customs and Border Protection's acting internal affairs head has told journalists he doesn't know of any terminations or... More »

Mom of Mexican Teen Killed by Border Patrol Sues

16-year-old was shot from across border

(Newser) - The mother of a Mexican teen shot at least eight times in the back by US Border Patrol agents firing over the border is going to court to find out who killed her son. Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was shot by at least one agent in October 2012 as... More »

Dozens of Giant Snails Stopped at LAX

Invasive species was labeled as food

(Newser) - A slow-moving Nigerian delicacy was stopped at Los Angeles International Airport when 67 giant land snails were discovered packed in picnic baskets, authorities said yesterday. The live African snails—which can grow to be 8 inches long, 5 inches wide, and live to be 10 years old—arrived with paperwork... More »

Feds Haul in $2M of Pot Dumped in Ocean

Smuggling boats took off for Mexico once spotted

(Newser) - Federal officials say nearly $2 million worth of marijuana that was tossed into the ocean from two suspected smuggling boats has been recovered about 160 miles off the coast of San Diego. A spokesman for US Customs and Border Protection tells the Union-Tribune that more than 130 bales of pot,... More »

Agencies Borrowing Drones More Than We Thought

Customs and Border Protection has loaned them out almost 700 times

(Newser) - Domestic law enforcement agencies have flown a lot more drone missions than they let on, according to newly uncovered data. Customs and Border Patrol lent out drones from its fleet for almost 700 surveillance missions from 2010 to 2012, the agency has revealed, in response to Freedom of Information Act... More »

Musician: US Customs Destroyed Handmade Flutes

He says bamboo flutes were considered agricultural products

(Newser) - A musician says his collection of handmade bamboo flutes was destroyed by customs agents at JFK International Airport because they were considered agricultural products. Boujemaa Razgui is a Canadian citizen living in New York who performs traditional Middle Eastern music in several different ensembles around the world. He says he... More »

Woman Gets $5K Bill After Cavity Searches for Drugs

Those searches turned up no sign of drugs, by the way

(Newser) - A 54-year-old New Mexico woman is suing US customs and a hospital after an escalating series of drug searches that took six hours and yielded no sign of drugs—only a $5,000 hospital bill for her trouble. Some details, as rounded up by Raw Story , Reason , and the AP... More »

US Denies Woman Entry Over Her Depression

Toronto vacationer was turned back at Pearson airport

(Newser) - So much for that $6,000 vacation: A Canadian woman was denied entry into the US this week due to her history of mental illness, the CBC reports. Ellen Richardson had planned to fly to New York and from there go on a 10-day cruise, but US customs officials at... More »

Border Agents Abusive: Suits

Lawyers criticize 'culture of impunity' at Customs and Border Protection

(Newser) - US border agents are being accused of a series of abuses around the country, in what immigration advocates are calling a "culture of impunity" at Customs and Border Protection, reports the USA Today . The 10 plaintiffs in the lawsuits range from a 4-year-old New York girl who was prohibited... More »

Feds Make Biggest Pot Bust in History

$12M worth of marijuana confiscated on Mexican border

(Newser) - The good news: US border agents have seized some 14,151 pounds of marijuana—thought to be the biggest seizure in history, the Los Angeles Times reports. The humorously depressing news: The 26-year-old man busted with the pot was betting he could just drive some 600 bales of it across... More »

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