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24 June 2005
Sentri Participant Arrested for Alleged Narcotics Smuggling Attempt
US Customs

A Tijuana woman registered to participate in the SENTRI program was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro border station Wednesday morning after they found over 200 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of her vehicle, officials announced today.

A suspicious CBP officer referred Jhuliana Aramis Cohen, 21, and her 2001 Kia Optima to the secondary inspection lot at 11:30 a.m. after she entered the U.S. in one of the designated SENTRI lanes.

During an intensive examination, a narcotics detector dog alerted to the rear of the vehicle and officers later found 10 wrapped packages of marijuana weighing 202 pounds in the trunk of the car.

The vehicle and contraband were seized and Aramis Cohen was turned over to special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who transported her to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment. Her SENTRI pass was revoked.

“Despite a very small number of violations each year in the SENTRI lanes, the vast majority of SENTRI participants are law abiding travelers and our vetting protocol is sound,” said Adele Fasano, San Diego director of field operations for CBP. “We will continue to pursue vigorous prosecution of any smuggling attempts through the SENTRI lanes.”

The SENTRI program, or Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, was implemented at the Otay Mesa passenger port in 1995 and at the San Ysidro facility in 2000. Almost 60,000 travelers from both sides of the border are currently registered in the vehicle SENTRI program.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.



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