(Central Plaza) — In fiscal year 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents working at eight South Texas ports of entry reported a 177 percent increase in encounters with ineligibles and a 19 percent increase in cocaine seizures , according to CBP.
They also seized a significant amount of narcotics, unregistered currency, weapons and uncovered numerous immigration violations during fiscal year 2022.
“As non-essential transportation resumed at the start of FY 2022, overall workloads returned to normal, but CBP employees continued to experience a continued trend in hard drug use, especially cocaine, and there was a significant increase in encounters with people without valid travel documents.” — Eugene Crawford, acting director. , Field Operations at Laredo Field Office, said. “The volume of hard drugs underscores the seriousness of the drug threat we face, and the economic and security concerns of the hemisphere also tend to drive migration volumes.”
The eight ports of entry extend from the Del Rio sector near the middle of the Texas border to the southernmost part of Texas at Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
At the Laredo field office alone, agents seized 47,755 pounds of drugs with an estimated retail value of $436 million. They also seized 6,578 pounds of marijuana, 10,243 pounds of cocaine, up 19% since FY 2021, nearly 30,476 pounds of methamphetamine, 176 pounds of heroin and almost 282 pounds of fentanyl. They also seized $5.8 million in unaccounted for currency, 320 weapons and 78,487 rounds of ammunition.
CBP Laredo field office officers also determined that more than 57,732 foreign nationals were barred from the U.S. due to previous immigration violations, up 177% from FY 2021.
Agricultural specialists of the pulp and paper industry intercepted 99,264 units of quarantine animal and vegetable raw materials and 5,015 units of pests.
Across the country, CBP agents seized approximately 155,000 pounds of marijuana, over 175,000 pounds of methamphetamine, over 70,000 pounds of cocaine, nearly 175,000 pounds of khat, and over 49,000 pounds of other drugs, including oxycodone and other drug precursors, opium, and prescription pills. . other drugs.
They also confiscated nearly 15,000 pounds of fentanyl. Given that two milligrams is considered a lethal dose, this amounts to more than 3.4 million lethal doses.
In fiscal year 2022, CBP agents across the country also confiscated almost $60 million worth of currency and other cash.
Weapons and ammunition seizure data on the CBP dashboard was disabled and unavailable when The Center Square attempted to access it on January 4 and 5 due to a system glitch. System crashes are being reported more and more frequently. Another glitch resulted in detention data for the San Diego sector for September 2022 being unavailable.
Across the country in fiscal year 2022, agents apprehended 751 known gang members, most of whom were members of MS-13. This is up from 363 in FY 2020.
They also apprehended 12,028 “non-citizen offenders” in FY2022, compared to 2,438 in FY2020. These are individuals who were convicted of one or more crimes either in the US or abroad before they were intercepted by Border Patrol agents.
Among them, most had convictions for illegal re-entry, illegal possession and/or drug dealing, drunk driving, assault, battery, and domestic violence. In FY 2022, these numbers were significantly higher in several categories compared to previous years, including 1,614 people arrested for drunk driving in FY 2022, compared to 364 in FY 2020.
Similarly, 62 people were arrested by BP agents who had criminal records showing they were convicted of murder or manslaughter, up from three in fiscal 2020.
The agents also detained 98 people in the terrorist screening database system, up from 16 in FY2021, three each in FY2020 and FY2019, six in FY2018, and two in FY2017.