BUFFALO, New York ~~~ May 26, 2020 (LSN) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ports of entry within the Buffalo Field Office have seen a significant increase in drug seizures since border restrictions went into effect on March 21.
CBP employees at ports within the Buffalo Field Office, Office of Field Operations, have seized a variety of drugs in commercial shipments and passenger vehicles, from March 21 – May 15, 2020. The Buffalo Field Office, which covers 16 ports of entry throughout New York State, made 224 narcotic seizures totaling more than 3,100 pounds lbs. – an increase of almost 1600% from fiscal year 2019 during the same time period.
Ports saw a large increase in marijuana that was discovered in commercial shipments comingled with legitimate trade as well as in passenger vehicles. Express consignment was another environment where an increase of narcotics such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) edibles, fentanyl, methamphetamines and counterfeit prescription narcotics were also discovered and seized
In one instance, officers at the Peace Bridge Warehouse discovered marijuana hidden inside a shipment of mulch. The marijuana weighed more than 1,100 pounds with an estimated street value of $4 million dollars.
“Even in the midst of a pandemic, the employees in the Buffalo Field Office work vigilantly to protect our borders,” said Buffalo Field Office Director Rose Brophy. “Unfortunately, criminals will attempt to exploit our vulnerabilities during these unprecedented times, but the dedication and commitment of our workforce remains steadfast.”
Several of these seizures are under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.
“HSI is committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners at CBP to stop the flow of illegal drugs coming into the U.S. at our ports of entry,” said Kevin Kelly, special agent in charge of HSI Buffalo. “HSI will continue develop these seizures into further investigations to dismantle the transnational organizations that attempt to exploit our borders.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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