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08/16/2016

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HSI Nashville supports training for Tennessee Highway Patrol

THP Troopers from across the State of Tennessee at the Hidalgo POE for a week of training
Approximately 11,000lbs of marijuana concealed within fake fruit
THP Troopers,  CBP Officers, and HSI Special Agents discuss current trends at the Hidalgo Port of Entry

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent Andy Hendrix, based in HSI’s Nashville, Tennessee office, recently accompanied a group of Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) troopers to South Texas for a week of training at the Hidalgo port of entry, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“Leveraging HSI’s partnership with CBP allowed us to provide a unique training experience to these Tennessee state troopers at next to no cost to them. These troopers are returning to the highways of Tennessee armed with the latest trends and tactics smugglers are using,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Robert Hammer, adding that “HSI Tennessee enjoys a great partnership with its state and local partners and we are pleased to be able to arrange this vital hands-on training – which no classroom can adequately provide.” 

CBP’s training program at the port focuses on helping state and local law enforcement become more familiar with current trends being used by smugglers to bring people or contraband into the United States illegally. Knowledge such as this can be useful during routine side-of-the-road stops as well as in a targeted smuggling operation. The weeklong training included a visit to the agency’s seizure lot where the officers could see first-hand several hundred seized vehicles featuring an assortment of concealment techniques designed for smuggling.

The group of eight THP troopers was in Texas July 18-22, 2016, and during their training they were able to assist CBP in what is now the largest illegal drug seizure for that specific port when nearly 11,000 pounds of marijuana was discovered inside a shipment of hollow balls that were declared as fruit at the port of entry. In addition, one of the troopers made an ammunition seizure during the training that resulted in a federal arrest.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/22/2016