US Customs and Border Protection agent charged with falsifying ship inspection records

Former US Customs and Border Protection agent Carl James Jr, whose job included inspecting agricultural items on ships, has been charged with lying about completing those inspections, reports The Virginian Pilot.

The US Attorney’s Office says in the federal indictment that James falsified three forms on three separate occasions for planned ship inspections dating back to 2015.

The indictment says that on April 6th 2015 James falsified a form indicating he had inspected container ship Dalila “when at the time of the form’s completion, James knew that he had not conducted said ship inspection”.

Similar charges attach to inspections of bulk carrier Pontovremon on January 30th 2017 and container ship Chongqing on November 15th 2017.

James was an agricultural specialist with US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) and checked containers and trucks for smuggled agricultural or packaging materials that might contain invasive species. He would also check wooden pallets for hidden larvae of wood-bearing insects that could attack native trees or nursery stock. The agents also make sure fruits and vegetables arrive pest free. One of the forms listed in the indictment that James allegedly falsified – AI 288 – is a detailed ship inspection report. The CBP fills out the ship name, date, time and the port where the ship is arriving. James is set to appear in court on July 13th.