Zero Tolerance Penalties, Warrant Arrests, Agriculture Seizures Top Busy CBP Holiday

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BALTIMORE – While many local residents celebrated the holidays with loved ones, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agriculture specialists remained busy protecting our homeland, enforcing our nation’s laws, intercepting narcotics and prohibited agriculture products, and arresting wanted fugitives.

CBP officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) assessed $500 zero tolerance marijuana penalties to two travelers, one who arrived from Jamaica in possession of less than 10 grams, and one who arrived from Mexico with about 26 grams, respectively.

CBP officers arrested the following three fugitives with outstanding felony arrest warrants.  Criminal charges are merely allegations.  Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

  • Sheldon Lyman, 24, on felony burglary charges from Pinal County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office. Lyman arrived to BWI Saturday from Germany.
  • Donell Mario Bratton, 38, on felony bank fraud charges from the U.S. Postal Inspections Service.  Bratton arrived to IAD Saturday from Germany.
  • Hamza Sayed Abouabdalla, 20, on felony grand theft and safecracking charges from Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  Abouabdalla attempted to board a flight at IAD Tuesday that departed for Saudi Arabia.

Dulles CBP agriculture specialists assessed a $300 penalty to a man from El Salvador Sunday who refused to declare nearly five pounds of prohibited pork products he possessed.  Other travelers at both BWI and IAD admitted that they possessed prohibited food products and abandoned their products without fine.

Dulles CBP officers seized 26 grams of marijuana from
a traveler returning from Mexico December 26, 2017.

Finally, Dulles CBP officers canceled a U.S. travel visa and refused admission of a Malawi woman Sunday who CBP officers learned had obtained her visa through fraud.

As the nation’s border security agency, CBP enforces over 400 laws regulated by about 40 different agencies at our 328 air, land and sea ports of entry.

“These enforcement actions are a microcosm of Customs and Border Protection’s continued vigilance, and they give evidence to CBP’s contributions that help to keep our communities and our citizens safe, and that protects our nation’s economy,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.  “Securing our nation’s borders is a challenging mission and it is a responsibility that I and all of CBP’s employees take very seriously.”

CBP officers routinely examine passenger manifests on arriving and departing international flights, and identify travelers who may require additional inspectional scrutiny, including those with outstanding arrest warrants.

During an average day in 2016, CBP arrested 22 wanted persons, seized 7,910 pounds of drugs, and seized 4,638 prohibited agriculture products at air, land and sea ports of entry across the United States.  View CBP Snapshot to learn more of what CBP achieves ‘On a Typical Day.’

Read more about CBP’s Agriculture Protection mission.

Learn how CBP's Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders at international Ports of Entry.

Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn more about the CBP admissions process and rules governing travel to and from the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border 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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