Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Any Customs officers here?

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Any Customs officers here?

    I retired after 26 years, 6 mo., and 3 days as a Special Agent (Criminal Investigator) with US Customs. Are there any officers from other Customs services on this board?
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
    John Stuart Mill

  • #2
    Sleuth,

    Sorry, I'm in the police but we do work with Customs & Excise. We have a small airport on our division and Customs occasionally do big operations there, especially in relation to the illegal importation of duty free cigarettes and alcohol. Customs are also involved in a variety of other law enforcement functions, and if they make arrests they will normally use the local police custody office.


    Lobster.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Sleuth,
      I'm an Inspector on the SW border. I've been in long enough to change weapons and uniforms 3 times. Now we're changing again! So how's retirement?

      Comment


      • #4
        Ther IS life after Law Enforcement. But move away from the border if you can. I'm up in Northeast AZ, above 6,000 feet, where we get some snow each winter.
        The finest bureau of the Government I have delt with are the folks at OPM retirement! The few problems I have had have been quickly resolved.
        This gives me more time for shooting & riding horses! Try it, you'll like it!
        "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
        John Stuart Mill

        Comment


        • #5
          I am an ex-officio Customs officer, meaning I CAN deal with it, but USUALLY just grab the "client" and escort them back to the Port-of-entry. Which usually means all the fun of overtime and almost none of the paperwork!
          #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
          Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
          RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
          Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
          "Smile" - no!

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Sleuth, I'm a serving customs officer in the UK, attached to the National Investigation Service doing mainly Class A drug ops at the moment. How much longer we'll be around though I don't know as after nearly 800 years Tony blair has decided that we will probably be merging with some parts of the police and the immigration service and making one big FBI/DEA type organisation - history counts for nothing i guess.
            Protecting Society - whether they like it or not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dutyman, sounds like what has happened here. Customs & Immigration investigations are now ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It feels very odd to have worked so long for an agency that no longer exists. And I never came across smugglers of people who were also smuggling anything else. Must be some sort of criminal specialization - I wonder if they are unionized?

              I have worked airports & seaports, but most of my time was on the Mexican Land border and teaching Officer Safety & Survival at the Academy. My last year was the most fun, on an Indian Reservation south of Tucson, AZ. Not many innocent bystanders, a clearly defined border, and fairly easy to identify bad guys. If things continue as they are, you may get a land border-- with Scotland!

              I see the comments here about the French - what has been your experience with them, Dutyman? Do you have arrest powers, or do you have to use the police? Are any UK Customs officers armed? What kinds of crime are you finding at the Chunnel, anything unusual? What do you consider a large drug bust (I'm sure your scale of referance is different from ours)?

              Sleuth
              "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
              John Stuart Mill

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Sleuth,
                Re: retirement--I hope I make it! I've got another 10+ to go. Now, more than ever, every day is a challenge! (read headache) But I'm a border rat who may never leave it, even though I retire. Sounds like you're doing great--congratulations.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Sleuth,

                  ah the french, don't get me started. I've been an investigator for 13 years now and I've probably done maybe 10 or so joints operations with the french. The actual officers on the ground are usually okay to an extent, but their bosses, which in france is a low ranking judge who accompanys their every move and okays their work, are real pains! Every time we start a job we'll agree who does what and what action we'll take and then they'll turn around and ignore it at the first opportunity.

                  At the channel tunnel (seal it up!) we had a problem in that the french, who are based on the u.k. side, were going into our offices, reading the suspect movement reports and arresting our targets before they could get to the uk. They don't get into our offices now.

                  Crime at the tunnel is pretty varied, it's an expensive way to cross over to france and back so the bulk of traffic is freight, we get large scale duty evasions, 10 million cigarettes or so, bulk class a movements, anything over 100 kilos class A is a "Big" job, but i did work on a one tonne cocaine op a few years back.
                  Immigration problems there too with albanians / iraqis / iranians and any other nationality who fancies living in the uk hiding under trains or in the railway cars.

                  like most of the police here in the u.k. we aren't armed, we defend ourselves with a bullet proof vest and a shiny badge. i know that the department is looking at the issue of sprays and batons for some sections but everything is up in the air at the moment with the governement looking at a possible merger. We have just got our laws written to allow us blue lights and sirens though, but still no exemption from the speed limit so we can still only pursue at 70mph.
                  Governments, do't ya just love 'em!

                  I don't want to think about the fact that I've got 27 years to go!
                  Protecting Society - whether they like it or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, 100 Kilos of Cannabis (dope) would be an OK bust over here. I have 2 pictures from my last year, one has me sitting on 600 pounds of dope in my Government Pickup truck. The other, taken the same day, shows me in our warehouse, leaning against a skid with, perhaps 1,000 pounds of dope, with skids behind me as far as you can see, all with the same amount of dope (not all from one seizure). Perhaps 20, 30 tons in all.

                    We were all armed, with issued 9mm handguns (we could carry .38, 357, .40 S&W, or .45), and 12 guage shotguns or 5.56 Styer AUG rifles in 3 shot burst. We carried radios, as well as the vehicle radios, and wore body armor for planned or expected events (it was just too darn hot). We also got nice, shiney badges - mine had a 3 digit number, the new guys & gals were in the 10,000 range. I'm not that old, they changed the number range.

                    27 years to go! WOW, I retired under a plan that said 20 years and age 50. I retired at 50 with 26+ years. Of course, while we did not have the UK weather (rain, as I recall), tracking smugglers across the desert at 110 degrees (F) had it's own....ah, ....features.

                    In general, how do the French react when they get caught? I don't recall ever arresting anyone French. Of course, they left what passes for their legal system in Mexico, so the Mexicans sometimes tried to bribe us.

                    We had the authority to decide if minor matters were handled civilly (fines and seizures), or criminally. Do you decide, or is the court system involved?

                    Thanks for the info.
                    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                    John Stuart Mill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Sleuth,

                      funnily enough i'm having a hard time thinking of when I may have ever arrested a french national, maybe they don't make it to the border, the french customs can set up mobile vehicle checkpoints anywhere in the country so maybe they pick them up early?

                      Certainly the majority of my arrests are of british nationals, closely followed by dutch, belgians and pakistanis.

                      That sounds like quite an arsenal you could choose from for protection, it'd never be tolerated here, we've had officers criticised for looking too paramilitary if they tuck their trousers into their boots and wear an equipment belt with more than a torch and a leatherman tool on it.

                      Retiring at 50, you lucky guy. When customs moved from being tied to the military to being under the civil service in the 1970's we became subject to the civil service terms and conditions, 40 years service to get full pension, and no retiring before 60. Bloody annoying when we're doing similar work to certain parts of the police and they only have to do 30 years for a better pension.

                      I've only ever been offered a bribe by pakistanis, but it's normal procedure in their country so i guess they think it's the done thing when they get arrested on their first trip here.
                      Protecting Society - whether they like it or not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Our uniformed Inspectors would carry at least: Handgun, 2 spare magazines, pepper spray, handcuffs flashlight, multi-purpose tool, screwdriver.
                        My load when tracking: Handgun, 2 spare mags, radio, 2 quarts water, GPS, rifle, spare magazine, 2 pair steel handcuffs, several flex cuffs, hard candy, gloves, cylume sticks, folding pocket knife, multi-tool, flashlight, and "odds & sods". Most guys had load bearing vests, I wore ex-military load bearing equipment. It made for a fairly heavy load over a 12 or 14 hour track.
                        My day-to-day load was radio, handgun, 2 spare magazines, one pair steel handcuffs, pager. I did not bother with the OC spray, although I was an OC instructor. Why? They had to spray me 3 times before it worked on me!

                        When you were under the military, what branch did you come under? Were smugglers treated under military or civil law? We have always been civilians, since the "disagreement" with King George in 1776.
                        "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                        John Stuart Mill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Sleuth,

                          we didn't actually come under the control of a specific part of the military, but our rank structure and pay bargaining followed whatever happened within the armed forces, used to make for better pay rises definitely!

                          The closest to us now is the Royal Navy, our dress uniforms, with all the gold braid on the sleeves, are very similar, and we carry commissions signed by HM Queen similar to a Navy officer. My current rank is equivalent to a Lieutenant in the services. The downside to this is that when we stay on military premises during operations, usually RAF or Naval stations, we have to live in the commissioned officers area, rather than the NCO's mess which is usually better stocked and has more interesting people!

                          The attached photo, if it works, is what our dress uniform looks like today, again though, it's under review, I'm not in the photo by the way it's the launching of one of our new cutters earlier this year.
                          Attached Files
                          Protecting Society - whether they like it or not.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As an Investigator, I never had a uniform. You guys do look like RN. Our Coast Guard started as the Revenue Cutter Service under the Treasury Dept., then got moved to Dept of Transportation, except in time of war, when they fall under the Navy.

                            The most unusual setup I know of is the Indian Health Service (they provide health care on Indian Reservations), part of the Public Health Service. They wear the US Navy officer's uniform, with different collar devices - and they can have beards. So here I am, on an Indian Reservation 1,000 miles from the beach, with a bunch of men & women in Navy uniforms, and the men all had large beards! It took some time to figure out.

                            In my time, I arrested Italians (One could not talk when his hands were cuffed!), Greeks, Mexicans, Americans, Canadiens, but I don't recall any frenchmen.

                            You said the chunnel is British - do you mean from end to end? Or is there a line under the channel - this side UK, that side france?

                            How are you fairing with the hot weather? In Arizona, "it's a dry heat", with as little as 3% humidity. Must be bad over there with the high humidity.
                            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                            John Stuart Mill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sleuth
                              In my time, I arrested Italians (One could not talk when his hands were cuffed!)..., Canadiens, but I don't recall any frenchmen.
                              LMFAOROTF - sounds like you took down my cousins, who, of course, would have been fine up-standing business back in the old boot, but they come to America, and it's all "DP, go home!"

                              Hey! What's this with seizing members of the Montreal NHL team? And yeah, you're right - not many of them are French-Quebecois any more!
                              #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                              Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                              RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                              Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                              "Smile" - no!

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 4085 users online. 243 members and 3842 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 158,966 at 04:57 AM on 01-16-2021.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X