Border Patrol finds success in intelligence-driven strategies

Motorists traveling through the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at Temecula are well aware of law enforcement activity when officers are noticeably screening each and every vehicle and its occupants, waving some through and detaining others. But what about when the checkpoint appears to be “closed,” no traffic line-up, and officers not visible? What’s going on?

“That is when motorists are being watched even more,” explained Lee Bejar, senior patrol agent, border community liaison agent. “We have different types of units and agents working.”

That scenario sums up the changes Bejar has seen over his 25 years of service with the government agency.

“We are extremely intelligence-driven now,” said Bejar. “People can’t base what we are doing on the number of uniformed agents that are visible at any given time.”

Behar works out of the agency’s Murrieta office which staffs the Temecula checkpoint on Interstate 15 at the San Diego/Riverside county line. The Temecula checkpoint/Murrieta office is one of eight locations for the U.S. Border Patrol/Homeland Security’s San Diego Sector. This sector is responsible for 60 miles of linear border, 114 miles of coastline, and 7,000 square miles of inland territory, making it a very diverse geographical territory. And it just so happens that this region’s operation is more successful than ever.

“We are very successful in our region,” said Bejar. “We are huge on inter-agency work and sharing intelligence.”

In 2012, border agents in the San Diego sector apprehended 26,470 individuals.

Of those, 25,408 were from Mexico. The remaining 1,062 were from various other countries.

The number of Border Patrol agents that suffered assaults during the course of their job in 2012 was 133.

The confiscation of drugs by this agency has been significant. From October 2011 to August 2012, agents seized some 48,256 lbs of marijuana, 1,238.57 lbs of cocaine, 1,228.72 lbs of methamphetamine, and 1,948.71 ounces of heroin.

“If we take criminals and their drugs off the street, as a whole we make our nation safer,” said Bejar, who said the agency’s intelligence work is paying off.

“We have gone from being a resource-based agency to a risk-based one,” said Bejar. “We want to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat targeted criminal threats.”

Bejar said the Border Patrol is achieving that by collecting information that allows agents to look for certain things.

“What we do is not by coincidence; it’s very intelligence-driven,” he explained. “There are things that are very high on our priority list.”

The success experienced by this agency working “smarter” is validated by the statistics for the San Diego region.

Four years ago, in 2008, the number of individuals apprehended by border agents numbered 162,390. The number of people rescued from treacherous situations while trying to enter the country amounted to 110. Assaults to agents numbered 377 that year. In 2008, only one tunnel was discovered in the San Diego region being used by illegals.

In the past four years, agents have found 22 more tunnels under the Mexican border, and worked effectively to reduce opportunities for individuals to make their way into the United States illegally, hence the reason apprehension numbers dropped by 135,920 from 2008 to 2012.

“The reason that apprehension numbers are down is because we are protecting our borders; our borders are more secure now,” said Bejar. “When you have less people getting through, you have a lower number of apprehensions; when more get through, you have more apprehensions.”

In implementing some of their maneuvers, agents can and do use canine officers.

“Canines are a great resource for our agency,” said Bejar. “They are used primarily for tracking and sniffing out contraband.” A limited number are qualified to locate humans and the Border Patrol provides those, when requested by the government, to sites of national catastrophes like hurricanes, earthquakes, and more.

Looking toward 2013, Behar said the Border Patrol will continue to be “very proactive about seeking out threats” and agents will do that by developing information and “using increased technology to attack those threats.”

“Our goal is to continue to work more and more efficiently,” said Behar. “We care about our communities. Our mission is to protect America, to prevent dangerous people and dangerous capabilities from entering the United States.”

In his 25 years of service, Bejar said he has seen the Border Patrol take great strides in so far as volume of personnel, improvements in the agency’s infrastructure, and continually improving technology.

“Everything has all been for the better,” he said.

To report suspicious activity in the greater Fallbrook or Temecula area, call the U.S. Border Patrol Murrieta office at (951) 816-3031.

19 Responses to "Border Patrol finds success in intelligence-driven strategies"

  1. border patrol sucks   December 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I always go and there is the checkpoint… just dont do it anymore waste of time for people.. i get home late… i get out of work at 3.pm and i get home at 4.30 but when there is a checkpoint i get home till 7pm thats a lot

    Reply
  2. Pointless   December 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I drive thru this checkpoint every week and never been stopped. It’s too easy.

    Reply
  3. @border patrol sucks   December 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Reading what u typed gives me a headache. How do you have a job?

    Reply
  4. Think about it...   December 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

    You’re missing the point, Pointless and border patrol sucks. This isn’t about your convenience and whether you wait or not. It’s about enforcing immigration laws and apprehending criminal undocumented immigrants. I say well done.

    Reply
  5. not popular   December 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I know this might not be popular, but I think they need to set up more often. I know of situations where "illegals" ask "legals" to make a quick run to Temecula to let them know if they checkpoint is open or not. If it is, they wait it out, if not, then they just drive by it (wont go into specifics). I don’t get how when the checkpoint "appears closed"… "That is when motorists are being watched even more,". Doesn’t seem true to me.

    Reply
  6. Dan   December 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    bps, there is never a 2 1/2 hr. wait at the checkpoint, don’t lie.
    I rather they do their job and apprehend illegal aliens and the drugs, and wait a little while in line. Did you guys read how much drugs they seize? Good job…

    Reply
  7. Ray (the real one)   December 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Intelligence driven? Just stop the vehicles with the mismatched tires, bondo everywhere, expensive tires and rims on a $100.00 car, naked lady mud flaps and a backseat full of empty Budweiser cans. Not rocket science.

    Reply
  8. Work!   December 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    They should be open all of the time and talk to every single car. Keep the crime from going north.

    Reply
  9. get real   December 29, 2012 at 1:01 am

    this border check only catches petty criminals, 90% of the serious drug runners are crossing this border check in normal looking cars with caucasian drivers. This is a sophisticated business folks, and they have you right where they want you.

    Reply
  10. Taxpayer   December 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Close the check point and fill your buses at Fallbrook and Stagecoach,(the church) shoot the ones that run. Deport the rest to Bangladesh or some part of china.

    Reply
  11. @taxpayer   December 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Wtf are you talking about that makes no sense???

    Reply
  12. Tom   December 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    It is a waste of money and border patrol should be on the border protecting areas where there is not even a iron fence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjspZ4R-6bM

    Reply
  13. Reality Checks   December 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2189, which will allow hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants to legally obtain drivers

    Reply
  14. Taxpayer   December 30, 2012 at 8:09 am

    For all of you that don’t live in Fallbrook, I,ll simplify it. You can hire day labor at the church at Fallbrook St. an Stagecoach road any morning of the week. Most all of them are illegal, enough to fill a bus. No need to stop traffic. Some how we,re able to hire them everyday of the week ,but the INS can’t find them. We need to stop giving them a sandwich an sending them back to Mexico. There not gone long enough to lose there jobs. Send them to any country that will pay there airfair and put them to work. China, Russia, Haiti ,India,Africa ect.
    Green cards should state were you live , work ,and for who. Working elsewhere should be cause for immediate deportaion. Children of illegal are just that.
    I’m, not a hate monger, just another unemployed American. They estimate we have twelve million working illegals hear. They take our jobs, fill our schools, and prisons, send there money home to Mexico. I,ve never had one tell he wanted America to be more like Mexico,but it is everyday.

    Reply
  15. No One is Taking Your Jobs   January 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Hey taxpayer seeing as how your unemployed and all those "illegals" are taking your job opportunities, why don’t you go stand in front of the church and ask for a job there. Should be easy for you since you are more than willing to work, right. Your so eager to work that your willing to do what these people do. You would be a day laborer for less than mininum wage, you would be out in the field picking tomatoes and lettuce in deplorable working conditions being treated worse than a dog just for your chance to prove that you want to work. If these people are taking American jobs why don’t you go out and try to take your jobs back. No, i didn’t think you would. These people are not taking your office, medical or proffesional jobs. Stop blaming them for your misfortune of not being able to get employed. Or tell, me did you loose your position to an illlegal-highly unlikely unless you were up in a tree picking avocados. The jobs they are taking are the ones "Americans" don’t want to do. So find another excuse and another person to blame. And, i suggest you watch the movie "A day without a Mexican".

    Reply
  16. Victor   June 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Well said ! No one is taking your jobs ! Wow you owned this hard working so called "American ".

    Reply
  17. ''Americans" go back to school   July 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    wtf you american people …. Mexicans and indians are the only legal here if you dont even know about your own history than you should go back to school ….

    Reply
  18. Marco   December 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Many good comments here and many completely uneducated

    Reply
  19. Scootch   January 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[1]

    Reply

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