The Massena, New York border station is one of the busiest in the state- outside of the ones near major cities and is less than 100 miles away from the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. The Massena station was renovated in 2007 as part of a federal program to build state-of-the-art sustainable federal buildings.
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A new boat dock was also incorporated into the new border crossing station. The station is responsible for covering 38 miles of international borderlands. Of those, 33 are along the St. Lawrence Seaway- an inlet that separates Massena from Ontario, Canada- and five miles are along the northern land border between the two states, east of the Great Lakes. This expanse of water body border has made marine interdiction agent jobs particularly important at the Massena border station.
The five miles of land border monitored by border patrol agents in Massena is owned by the St. Regis Mohawk American Indian Reservation, according to the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency.
Drug Smuggling at the Massena Station
Drug smuggling is by far the most common problem found at the Massena station. Here is a list of just some of the large drug busts that border patrol agents and customs and border protection officers at the crossing station in Massena, NY have been responsible for:
- 2009: Agents seize more than 50,000 ecstasy pills, valued at more than $1.5 million, from two Canadian citizens trying to cross into the United States with the load.
- 2011: A Canadian drug kingpin admitted to officials that he has smuggled at least 2,000 pounds of marijuana a week through the forests of New York in hockey bags.
- 2010: U.S. officials claimed that about 20-percent of marijuana smuggled through Canada is done on 10-miles of border located on the Mohawk Indian Reservation, which is within the jurisdiction of the Massena station.
The tribal land makes border patrol jobs in Massena an interesting opportunity. Border agents are required to work with tribal leaders and need a tribal escort with them when inspecting the borders located within the reservation limits. A certain amount of community outreach is also required of border patrol agents in Massena.