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