This refers to US Customs and Border Protection. I saw them jump into action this weekend. It all felt pretty surreal to me!
I went on my Portland getaway this weekend (very quick, fun and a different story!) and I left on Friday night. I was at the border around 9:30pm. The Nexus lane was closed, so I went into the regular lanes. There were 2 open and the line up was only about 8 cars deep. Not too bad.
When I was 3 cars from the border, a swarm of about a dozen CBP agents came out of the main building. Who knew they were all sitting inside the building all this time poised to jump into action if necessary?! As they made their way over to the other open lane, they told the first car in our lane to shut of his engine. Oddly enough, my first thought was, ‘oh great! how long is this going to take?!’ hahaha….
Behind the cover of all the concrete structures and standing ready to pull out weapons, the CBP agents surrounded the car that was at the customs booth in the other open lane beside us. When I told Brian the story, he asked, “what were they saying?”. Maybe if i was thinking, I might have rolled down my window to try to listen to what was going on. But I guess i was a bit shell shocked by the whole thing!
I’m not sure what they were saying, but eventually, the driver of the car came out and had both his hands up. They made him walk to the back of the car, turn around and some of the agents cuffed him. They escorted him into the main building. While I was still processing what was going on, a passenger got out of the same car! It didn’t even dawn on me that there was a passenger in the car! He also had his hands up and the remaining agents cuffed him and escorted him away.
About 5 minutes later, then opened both lanes again (the car of the arrested suspects was driven away by a CBP officer). It felt kind of strange that I could scan my Nexus card and the CBP officer just waived me through, barely acknowledging me as I crossed (in light of someone JUST getting arrested!).
As I drove away from the border, I contemplated what just happened. Like: what happened in the minutes before the swarm of CBP agents came out? Did the guys know that they had been flagged? And what was it all about?! What did they do? Could it have evolved into some sort of gun fight with a bunch of by-standing cars in the line-up?! Hahaha…Lots of excitement for a Friday night at the border! And even though the excitement broke up the monotony of the drive, I hope when I come home a little later tonight, I won’t witness any other “situations”!