U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that Noel Sanchez Jr., formerly the Deputy Commander for the South Texas Campaign, will serve as Acting Director, Field Operations for Laredo Field Office. Sanchez succeeds Eugenio Garza, Jr. who retired Jan. 3 after completing 42 years of federal service.
“I am excited to be able to reach out to our law enforcement partners and stakeholders, moving forward by continuing to build upon the excellent partnerships and trade facilitation tempered with sound border security practices that my predecessor has developed during his tenure as DFO,” Sanchez said.
As Acting Director, Field Operations, for Laredo Field Office Sanchez oversees the operations of eight ports of entry extending from Brownsville, Texas to Del Rio, Texas. The Laredo Field Office processes the largest amount of land-based commercial traffic in the United States with nearly $134 billion in merchandise entering in FY2012 through the 23 crossings, 6 airports and one seaport which comprise the eight ports of entry.
In addition, in FY2012, CBP officers seized 132,327 pounds of narcotics valued at $347 million while processing over 2.7 million commercial trucks, 18.9 million privately owned vehicles, 50.5 million passengers and pedestrians and 67,744 buses within the Laredo Field Office.
Since April 2012, Mr. Sanchez has served as the Deputy Commander of the South Texas Campaign (STC), headquartered in Laredo, Texas. In this capacity, he was responsible to ensure that the STC’s intent of identifying, disrupting and degrading the Transnational Criminal Organizations throughout the STC corridor was carried out utilizing CBP personal and resources, leveraging other communities of interest and the government of Mexico.
Prior to his tenure as Deputy Commander, Mr. Sanchez was appointed in December 2010 as the Assistant Director for Border Security at the Laredo Field Office. As Assistant Director for Border Security he was responsible for all activities related to the admissibility of people, addressing and preventing threats of terrorists and terrorism, and the deterrence of smuggling of contraband and narcotics through the eight ports of entry in the Laredo Field Office.
Mr. Sanchez was also the Port Director in Progreso, Texas from 2001 – 2009, Port Director in Hidalgo, Texas from 1994 – 1996 and has previously held the position of Assistant Port Director, Passenger Operations, at the Port of Laredo.
Mr. Sanchez started his federal career with the former U.S. Customs Service in January 1978 at the Port of Laredo, Texas and is a graduate of the Customs Leadership Institute course, with Columbia University, in 2001 and a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows class at the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Sanchez has been married for 34 years to his wife, Teresa, and has two children.