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Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: BEST

Third Drug Bust Within Three Weeks for BEST

The Hampton Roads-based multi-agency Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) seized another two kilograms of cocaine, plus two kilograms of heroin, concealed within the ceiling of a vessel arriving at the Port of Norfolk this weekend.

Late in the evening of Sunday, August 12, 2012, special agents and officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Coast Guard’s Investigative Service, Chesapeake Region – all members of the Hampton Roads BEST, boarded the vessel, which originated from Asia.

During the search, special agents and officers discovered approximately the two kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of heroin concealed within the ceiling of a common lavatory.

The narcotics were seized by CBP. No arrests have been made and no crew members are suspected of being involved. The investigation, which is being conducted by BEST, is ongoing.

In the two weeks prior, BEST seized approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine at the Port of Norfolk in separate drug smuggling ventures. On July 27, the task force seized 32 kilograms of cocaine off of a vessel arriving into the Port of Norfolk. On Aug. 4, the task force seized three kilograms of cocaine from a container vessel that was due into Hampton Roads.

The Hampton Roads BEST was formed in July 2011 and is comprised of special agents and officers from ten federal, state and local agencies who are responsible for identifying, interdicting and investigating a wide variety of maritime-related crime including trade fraud, cargo theft, and the illegal smuggling of drugs, persons, currency and weapons.

Man in Washington State Sentenced for Border Drug Smuggling

A Bellingham man was sentenced Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in federal court to 24 months  in prison following an investigation by the Blaine Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST), which is led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Carlos Martinez-Medina, 22, pleaded guilty in March to exporting a controlled substance. He was arrested at the border by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers in December 2010 after officers detected cocaine on his driver’s license. A search of his vehicle turned up nearly three kilograms of cocaine that prosecutors say has an estimated street value of nearly $100,000.

According to court documents, Martinez-Medina, who had no prior criminal record, was paid $3,000 by an unknown individual to transport the cocaine to Canada. That man instructed Martinez-Medina to find a car and drop it off at a predetermined location where it was loaded with the contraband. Martinez-Medina later picked up the car and drove it to Canada. He was caught before he could deliver the car to a drop-off location in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

“When Martinez-Medina decided to accept $3,000 to traffic cocaine, whether he realized it or not, he accepted the risk of being caught and paying the consequences,” said Brad Bench, acting special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “The BEST is determined to continue its coordinated effort to disrupt international crime.”

Martinez-Medina was deported back to the United Stateswithin days of his arrest. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) transferred their evidence to the BEST. The task force pursued the investigation, leading to Martinez-Medina’s federal grand jury indictment in October 2011.

The case was prosecuted by an ICE attorney designated by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington to prosecute immigration and customs related cases in federal court.

BEST Blaine includes law enforcement partners from HSI, the Drug Enforcement Administration; multiple divisions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including the Border Patrol, Field Operations, and Air and Marine; the CBSA; the RCMP; U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

HSI has established more than 30 BEST teams across the country in areas where transnational criminal organizations exploit vulnerabilities along the nation’s border and at critical seaports. HSI is committed to dismantling the leadership and support infrastructure of criminal organizations responsible for perpetrating violence and illegal activity along our borders and in the nation’s interior.