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Maine Border Patrol Says Marijuana Seizures Have Increased

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
Since 2012, border patrol agents say they have seized more than 700 pounds of marijuana in Maine.

That presents a variety of issues for agents in the field.

A round-table discussion was held at Bangor International Airport Monday to address those issues.

"We are seizing more. The amounts are not significant because it is just recreational use amounts. But there is a slight increase in seizures that have been made within the sector."

Border patrol agents out of the Houlton sector say there have been 19 marijuana seizures in Maine this year and 31 in 2016.

"There is no threshold amount. We would have to look and see what kind of criminal record they have, and what kind of activities they were involved in that at the time of the stop."

The primary mission of border patrol is border security.

"If the agent has reason to believe that they might be doing something illicit, they're probably going to be stopped. Federal law always takes precedent whenever a border patrol agent is encountering something."

But Chief Patrol Agent Daniel Hiebert says the seizure of marijuana has become a nuisance on the job.

It's also a schedule one drug and under the controlled substances act, it's mandatory that border patrol agents seize it when they encounter it.

"It tends to be a little problematic whenever we make the seizures because it does take away from the agents ability to go out and conduct their primary missions. It can be time consuming when we could be spending our time doing something else."

"The bigger message here: staffing. Border patrol agents tell us they recently had to reject a candidate here in Maine because a family member was cultivating marijuana. And while recreational and medicinal marijuana may be legal in Maine, it's still illegal federally."

"A trafficker is pretty much defined as someone who manufactures, distributes and sells a narcotic. Which would include recreational marijuana as well. So anyone that is closely associated to that, immediate family members or close friends, would probably be found unsuitable for federal employment."

Making it difficult to fill positions, especially with a limited staff.

Hiebert says the Houlton sector has 183 agents, nearly 30 less than required.

Seizing marijuana is far from their primary concern, but agents are tasked with keeping the border safe.

"It might sound a little bit facetious, but if you want to keep your dope, don't do anything thats going to arouse a suspicion of a border patrol agent."

Most agents say it's unlikely a person will be prosecuted if they're found with marijuana.

In fact, we're told seizures of marijuana in Maine by the border patrol have resulted in zero prosecutions since 2012.



News Moderator: Ron Strider 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Maine Border Patrol Says Marijuana Seizures Have Increased
Author: Taylor Kinzler
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