Houston, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Houston/Galveston Seaport arrested 15 wanted persons in separate incidents in the first month of fiscal year 2018.
The wanted persons were each returning separately to the U.S. on cruise ships that reached international ports.
“As a law enforcement agency, our officers are duty-bound to respond appropriately when encountering a person wanted by another law enforcement agency,” said CBP Port Director Roderick Hudson. “In the course of our processing, we conduct law enforcement checks on international travelers arriving to our port. We are often the first law enforcement agency to encounter a wanted person arriving to the U.S. When that happens, we make the arrest.”
Hudson added that as the frontline agency, CBP officers are vigilant and remain committed to enforcing the more than 400 U.S. laws on behalf of 40 different agencies.
When CBP encounters a traveler with an active warrant and the law enforcement agency wants to extradite, CBP officers arrest the traveler and turn him over to local police department who will facilitate the extradition.
Arrests range for general charges such as engaging in criminal activity and larceny to parole violations.
“Our officers treat every wanted person in the same manner,” Hudson said. “They are patted down for officer safety, they are arrested including placed in handcuffs and detained until they are turned over to the Galveston Police for extradition and further processing.”
In the instance that a police agency does not want to extradite, Hudson said the process is the same. The traveler is detained and after it is confirmed that the agency does not want to extradite, the traveler is released.
On a typical day in fiscal year 2016, CBP officers arrested 22 wanted criminals at U.S. ports of entry.