Car carrying four men speeds past Customs entry in Port Angeles

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES - A car carrying four men reportedly sped through the U.S. Customs port of entry off the ferry from Victoria on Wednesday night.

The Port Angeles Police Department received a report through the PenCom dispatch center of the car failing to stop for inspection.

The car disembarked off the MV Coho at about 9:20 p.m. after the day's last southbound sailing.

It reportedly raced past the checkpoint so quickly that nobody could determine a license plate number or even the plates' jurisdiction.

The car turned left - or eastbound - onto Railroad Avenue from the port of entry, according to reports.

Police were looking for a four-door gray car or sport utility vehicle with four occupants, possibly Asian, headed east out of Port Angeles, said Sgt. Glen Roggenbuck.

Port Angeles police officers were unable to catch up with the vehicle and alerted the Clallam County Sheriff's Department and State Patrol, Roggenbuck said.

No more information was available Wednesday night. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the scene declined comment.

Customs officers check all vehicles disembarking the Coho in covered lanes between the ferry landing and Railroad Avenue.

Citizenship verification is done by U.S. officials at the Coho's Black Ball Transport terminal in Victoria before passengers and motorists board the 341-foot ferry.

Terrorist captured in 1999
On Dec. 14, 1999, Customs officers uncovered an al-Qaida-trained Algerian national, Ahmed Ressam, at the same Port Angeles port of entry.

A trunkload of bomb-making materials were found inside the rented sedan he was driving.

Ressam fled on foot, but was quickly captured by customs inspectors in downtown Port Angeles.

Ressam was tried in federal court and found guilty of plotting to blow up a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport with the explosives and gear in the car.

Last modified: August 22. 2007 9:00PM
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