WA ferry vehicle from Victoria, BC breaches U.S. Customs Port of Entry

UPDATED - Vehicle & occupants found, fined: The four people who failed to stop at a Customs checkpoint (story below) were located in a Port Angeles hotel after midnight. A spokesman for US Customs and Border Protection, said the group, “all American citizens,” had been screened by Customs and Border Patrol agents in Victoria before boarding the ferry where citizenship verification is performed.

According to police reports, the driver of the car, identified as a resident of Seattle, Washington mistaken believed he had been cleared in Victoria and might have driven in the wrong lane…


24 August 2007: Police in Port Angeles report that a gray SUV or large similar vehicle with at least four male occupants of Asian appearance sped through the U.S. Customs port of entry off the ferry from Victoria on Wednesday night, failing to stop for inspection. The vehicle was on the MV Coho, the last southbound ferry at approximately 9:20 p.m. and sped past customs that none of the officials were able to obtain a license number or determine the state or province of origin of the vehicle. All vehicles from the ferry are inspected in covered lanes between the ferry landing and Railroad Avenue. According to police, the vehicle sped eastbound onto Railroad Avenue from the port and disappeared from sight before police had a chance to respond.

It is noted that citizenship verification is performed by U.S. officials at the ferry’s Black Ball Transport terminal in Victoria, British Columbia before passengers and motorists board the 341-foot ferry. Investigators are performing an investigation at that location in an effort to determine whether any possible identification of the fleeing vehicle can be made. It is also noted that this is the same Port Angeles port of entry where al Qaeda terrorist Ahmed RESSAM was caught with bomb making materials on 14 December 1999. RESSAM was convicted in federal court of conspiring to detonate a bomb at the Los Angeles International Airport.