A year in seizures — what U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered in 2011

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For U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents, 2011 was a year of 340 million travelers, 4.3 million containers, $2.3 trillion in trade, and the seizure of approximately five million pounds of narcotics and $126 million in undeclared currency.

CBP compiled a list of top 10 unique and significant seizures, but, given the data, it seems our local enforcers are due their own year-in-review retrospective.

The regional rundown of the best in bogus, broken, dangerous, contaminated, stolen, poached, and illegal goods nabbed at nearby borders and ports looks something like this Southern California:

SEIZED - The one about the car bumper and glove box that were filled with cocaine.

SEIZED - That time a "trusted traveler" was found with 577 pounds of marijuana.

SEIZED - Those 55 live, exotic reptiles found inside cookie boxes and the live khapra beetle larvae discovered in a shipment of rice.

SEIZED - When 1.5 tons of meth chemicals sent from China did not get to Illinois.

SEIZED - In which a wheelchair was found fitted with drugs.

SEIZED - Once upon a time when coolers of fish covered illegal iguana meat and more than a ton of marijuana was hidden in a shipment of lettuce.

SEIZED - How 4.4 million counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes never got smoked.

SEIZED - What fate befell 30,000 pairs of counterfeit Lacoste sunglasses, Paul Frank pajamas from Indonesia, and $14.3 million worth of fake designer duds.

SEIZED - Where the story ends as a Porsche stolen 23 years ago is found in a crate bound for the Netherlands.

National highlights include the interception of a woman found driving an arsenal of weapons and ammunition in Texas, counterfeit Cisco Systems computer equipment headed for Washington, D.C., a weekend in the Rio Grande that netted 2.5 tons of marijuana, and a boat busted with 661 pounds of cocaine.

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