The Sierra Blanca Border Station operates a checkpoint on Interstate 10, which runs east-to-west across the state of Texas, passing through just north of Juarez, Mexico, then on to San Antonia and Houston. The interstate runs parallel within one hundred miles of the U.S.-Mexico border for much of its length, making it one of the major arteries used by human traffickers and drug smugglers. Around 17,000 vehicles pass through the checkpoint each day.
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The Sierra Blanca Station itself has been recently expanded from its original building in use since 1926. The new facilities now include a horse stables, dog kennel, gym, physical training area, and helicopter-landing pad. Border Patrol jobs in Sierra Blanca involve working at both stations. Border Agents are responsible for about 2,500 square miles of territory, including 73 miles of border. On average at least six drug violations are reported to the local County Sheriff’s Office by Border Agents at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint.
Celebrities Arrested by CBP Officers in Sierra Blanca
Among the many people found to be in possession of illegal drugs by Border Agents at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint are rapper Snoop Dogg and singer/songwriter Willie Nelson. These two got off with a small fine and misdemeanor charge because only small amounts of marijuana were found, but others have not been so lucky.
A truck driver was arrested after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers found bundles of marijuana weighing 695 pounds hidden in his trailer, worth an estimated $556,000. At the checkpoint officers use everything from radiation detectors to infrared cameras to Canine Units. These latter units are the most helpful in discovering hidden drugs. Border Patrol jobs in Sierra Blanca offer many choices for the prospective agent.
Featured CBP Career: Field Canine Unit Careers in Sierra Blanca
The most effective tool CBP Officers have when searching a vehicle or person for drugs are Field Canine Units. To become a Field Canine Unit, the prospective officer must first prove to be an effective and capable CBP Officer. After a period of time the officer can then volunteer to be assigned a dog for training. The officer and dog will attend training courses, and throughout the dog’s career it goes home at the end of each day with the officer.
Dogs must first pass a rigorous mental and physical test that sees an only one percent success rate, and are chosen from three main breeds: German Sheppard, Dutch Sheppard, and Belgian Malinois. Field Canine Units are also used in search and rescue operations, as well as for locating hidden persons.