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Cars wait in line to be screened through the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at Temecula.
Cars wait in line to be screened through the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at Temecula.
Canines are a great agency resource, utilized for tracking, sniffing out contraband, and locating humans.
Canines are a great agency resource, utilized for tracking, sniffing out contraband, and locating humans.
Border Patrol vehicles stand ready at the Temecula checkpoint site.
Border Patrol vehicles stand ready at the Temecula checkpoint site.
The above is an exterior view of the office site at the U.S. Border Patrol Temecula checkpoint.
The above is an exterior view of the office site at the U.S. Border Patrol Temecula checkpoint.

Border Patrol finds success in intelligence-driven strategies

Thursday, December 27th, 2012
Issue 52, Volume 16.
Debbie Ramsey
Managing Editor

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 Advertisement
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"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.



Comment Profile Imageborder patrol sucks
Comment #1 | Thursday, Dec 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 and i get home at 4.30 but when there is a checkpoint i get home till 7pm thats a lot
Comment Profile ImagePointless
Comment #2 | Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm
I drive thru this checkpoint every week and never been stopped. It's too easy.
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Post Continued
Comment Profile Image@border patrol sucks
Comment #3 | Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm
Reading what u typed gives me a headache. How do you have a job?
Comment Profile ImageThink about it...
Comment #4 | Friday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile Imagenot popular
Comment #5 | Friday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile ImageDan
Comment #6 | Friday, Dec 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...
Comment Profile ImageRay (the real one)
Comment #7 | Friday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile ImageWork!
Comment #8 | Friday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile Imageget real
Comment #9 | Saturday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile ImageTaxpayer
Comment #10 | Saturday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile Image@taxpayer
Comment #11 | Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm
Wtf are you talking about that makes no sense???
Comment Profile ImageTom
Comment #12 | Saturday, Dec 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
Comment Profile ImageReality Checks
Comment #13 | Saturday, Dec 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’ licenses in the state. Perfect. Legal license, you are still illegal. Now keep setting up those checkpoints and send them home.
Comment Profile ImageTaxpayer
Comment #14 | Sunday, Dec 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.
Comment Profile ImageNo One is Taking Your Jobs
Comment #15 | Thursday, Jan 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".
Comment Profile ImageVictor
Comment #16 | Thursday, Jun 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm
Well said ! No one is taking your jobs ! Wow you owned this hard working so called "American ".
Comment Profile Image''Americans" go back to school
Comment #17 | Friday, Jul 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 ....
Comment Profile ImageMarco
Comment #18 | Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Many good comments here and many completely uneducated “opinionated” comments as well. If you want to know the “real story” all you have to do is stop at the I-15 checkpoint or even better go to their station in Murrieta and ask for the facts. These guys and gals aren’t politicians they are professionals. Yes they work for the federal government but very few of them have any kind words for those politicians in Washington DC. I have spoken with many of them and I now know the real story and believe me, comments like “no one is taking your job” are from people who speak only their opinion but the facts don’t support their position. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the towns/cities just south of the checkpoints are crime and gang infested and the towns (Temecula, Murrieta, San Clemente) just north of the checkpoints are desirable living locations. I say, keep the USBP in our valley and double their numbers.
Comment Profile ImageScootch
Comment #19 | Friday, Jan 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]

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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