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The Life of a Custom Agent

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The Life of a US Custom Agent

Luis Rey Intro to Criminal Justice CJ100 Jorge Martinez

The United States of America is neighbored by two countries— Canada and Mexico. There are agencies that protect our borders from crime, agricultural diseases, and any other illegal activity. Customs and Border Protection, ICE, ICE-HSI, and various other departments handle these cases. It may seem to some that these agents don’t get to do as much as other law enforcement agencies. The truth is people don’t know custom agents are an integral part of our day to day lives as U.S. citizens. For this reason, I had the pleasure to interview agent John Smith, a CBP agent stationed in El Paso, Texas. Smith has been an agent for roughly 6 years now, and while Smith isn’t a servant of the El Paso Police Department, he said that as an agent, he still has to follow criminal laws. Every individual is different. Therefore, we have to follow proper procedures and laws. He also added that using such laws allows them to maintain order, such as avoiding terrorism, contraband, illegal immigrants, documents, drugs, and gangs. Being an agent also means that sometimes, they too get to catch a suspect trying to re-enter the U.S., or trying to leave the country. When asked if he had ever had to deal with a violent crime such as rape, murder, robbery, or an aggravated assault, Smith said “he once caught someone with a record”. Smith said “I scanned the suspect’s I.D., and there was a hit for murder and for identity theft. I have also dealt with organized gun and drug crime. Other criminal offenses Smith has had to deal with included, people using fake identities to enter the country illegally. Smith said “these people would cross illegal narcotics with the intent to distribute and weapons that I had to confiscate”. Uniformed Crime Reports and the...

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