Statement of Diana Dean before the Senate Judiciary Committee (2001 ?)

Prepared Statement


Diana Dean

United States Customs Inspector

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here to testify today. My name is Diana Dean. I am a United States Customs Inspector with 19 years experience. I am currently assigned to Port Angeles, Washington, and have been there since 1991. Prior to my assignment at Port Angeles I worked as an Inspector in both Seattle and Hawaii.

On December 14, 1999, at 6:00 PM, Ahmed Ressam attempted to enter the United States from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, in a rented vehicle aboard the ferry motor vessel Coho at the Port Angeles, Washington, port of entry. As the primary interviewing officer, I noticed during routine questioning that Ressam was acting in a nervous and strange manner while answering routine questions. I decided to perform a more thorough secondary examination.

Ressam was told to exit the vehicle he was driving in order to open the trunk for examination. After several requests, Ressam reluctantly exited the vehicle and opened the trunk. Preliminary examination by additional inspectors present and myself revealed that the vehicles’ spare tire compartment contained several bags of an unknown substance.

Based upon this discovery, an immediate pat down of Ressam was conducted during which Ressam managed to slip out of his jacket and flee on foot. The other inspectors present gave chase in a foot race that ensued over a five-block area resulting in Ressam’s capture. During the foot chase, Ressam attempted to strong-arm the driver of a vehicle passing by. After a brief scuffle, the subject was cuffed and escorted back to the port.

Further examination of Ressam’s vehicle resulted in the discovery of four timing devices and a total of 118 pounds of urea crystals, 14 pounds of sulfate powder, and 48 ounces of nitro-glycerin.

The fact is U.S. Customs Inspectors do things like this every hour of the day, every day of the week, every week of the year, at all 301 ports of entry in our nation. Some times we interdict dangerous drugs, sometimes guns, contaminated food, defective parts, the list goes on.

I want to again thank the committee for the opportunity to be here today.

This is the Statement of Diana Dean before the Senate Judiciary Committee


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