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New leader sworn in to protect 300 miles of US-Canada border August 11, 2005 - ktvq.com
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) The head of U-S Customs and Border Protection swore in a new commander for the Spokane Sector today in Spokane, using the occasion to say that keeping terrorists out of the United States remains the agency's top priority.
Commissioner Robert Bonner administered the oath to Robert Harris, who now heads a sector that spans some 300 miles from the Cascade Range in Washington state to Glacier National Park in Montana. He has 150 employees.Bonner says the border protection agency's mission is toe prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States.He told a gathering of Border Protection agents that they are America's front line against terrorism.Harris takes over for Ray Ortega, who is retiring.A thin line of agents patrols the mountainous and heavily forested border of the Spokane Sector.
In addition to potential terrorists, agents have recently been faced with increased drug smuggling, especially of the marijuana known as "B.C. Bud," and human trafficking. There are many places along the border where a person can hike unseen into the United States.