The Chief Mountain Border Station in Montana is located at the intersection of Montana Highway 17 and Alberta Highway 6. Built in 1939, this station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is operated by the Customs Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and supports some of the areas Border Patrol jobs.
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Tourists traveling between Glacier National Mountain in the U.S. and the Waterton National Park in Alberta frequently use this scenic border crossing. In 2011, 62,000 people crossed the border into Canada at this site, which is open from May through September.
Roles of Customs and Border Patrol Agents in Chief Mountain
Since 9/11, the ranks of Customs and Border Patrol agents have swelled by more than 600%. The agency is currently recruiting to further expand its operations. The primary goal of the DHS is thwart the entrance of potential terrorists into the U.S. with the Chief Mountain Border Patrol Station being part of these efforts.
Despite its primary role in screening tourists, there are always concerns that foreign nationals could enter the US from the northern border to implement attacks against the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent jobs in Chief Mountain involve thwarting such efforts by rigorously screening the documents and belongings of those who seek to enter the U.S. from Canada.
The smuggling of drugs across the northern border is a serious threat to U.S. security. Montana has long served as a principal channel for smugglers transporting drugs from Canada into the U.S., but agents in this area are well-prepared with comprehensive training and a thorough CBP education in what to look for. This situation has gotten more severe as drug traffickers have shifted their efforts from the southern border to smuggling drugs from Canada as the U.S. has cracked down on smuggling from Mexico.
One smuggling ring alone was found to have transported 1.3 million tablets of Ecstasy (MDMA) into the U.S. from Canada over a two year period. In addition, traffickers have been transporting cocaine into Canada in vehicles and by helicopter. As those trafficking in drugs have gone more high tech, the CBP has responded in kind. Customs and Border Patrol agents are on the forefront of these efforts to stop drug smuggling through their efforts at Chief Mountain.