'Trusted Traveler' busted for pot
‘trusted traveler’ checks may not be as successful a tactic as was originally assumed, and this story emphasizes exactly that. The driver, who had a SENTRI card, drew the suspicion of a Customs and Border Protection officer during a routine search. According to a Customs and Border Protection press release, posted by KOLD: At approximately 6:30 am on Feb 14, during routine screening of vehicle and travelers crossing through the SENTRI lane at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, a CBP officer encountered a 31-year-old driver of a 2010 Mazda CX-7 SUV. During routine questioning, the officer became suspicious of the driver’s answers and asked the driver to open the trunk. When the officer looked in the trunk, he noticed what appeared to be packages of contraband so he took the driver into custody. An intensive inspection of the vehicle revealed bundles of marijuana concealed in a storage compartment in the truck, in the engine area, and in a luggage bag. Officers seized seven bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 80 pounds. The driver, a US citizen, was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution. Applicants to the Homeland Security Department’s SENTRI program must submit to an extensive screening process, including a comprehensive background check. The program, for “trusted” border crossers, “allows members access to a dedicated commuter lane that expedites crossing between the U.S. and Mexico,” according to their website. This begs the question whether this alternative to going through the long and arduous security checks at border crossings are actually that effective, and whether they are a valid replacement for the regular screening measures.]]>
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