The Border Station in Eastport, Idaho is operated by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). First established in 1924, it is part of the Spokane Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol and is operated by the Seattle Field Operations Office.
The border between Idaho and British Columbia is only 45 miles long, but it has an active history. In its early years, most of those apprehended were ex-soldiers of the German Army trying to enter the U.S to establish residency. Since then, a number of those stopped at the Eastport Border Patrol Station were migrant agricultural workers trying to cross into the country illegally.
The Role of Customs and Border Patrol Agents in Idaho
The primary role of customs and border patrol jobs in Eastport, Idaho is to thwart potential terrorist acts against the U.S., but the interception of drug trafficking into the county is also an important part of maintaining strong U.S. security. In the 1980s, the emphasis of Border Patrol agents in this region shifted from apprehending migrant agricultural workers to identifying criminal aliens and those who try to smuggle drugs from Canada into the U.S.
In addition to the jobs of Customs and Border Patrol agents who monitor individuals and vehicles crossing the border at Eastport to ensure that they are not bringing drugs or other contraband into the country, these agents are responsible for the rest of the territory along the Idaho border. British Columbia has become a frequent source for high potency marijuana in the U.S. An Idaho arrest in January 2012 identified over 68 pounds of marijuana being transported into the state.
Mexican drug cartels have become active in the Western part of the U.S and are thought to be involved in most of the drug smuggling that takes place in Idaho. In addition to bringing goods into the U.S., members of these criminal organizations take advantage of the rural nature of much of the U.S./Canadian border to smuggle cocaine into Canada. Border Patrol agents in Eastport have met the stringent CBP training requirements necessary to effectively monitor the 308 miles of border included in the CBP’s Spokane Sector.