CBP Canine Officer and Chapter 116 Member Wins ASPCA Award

CBP Canine Enforcement Officer Jorge Aquino and his partner, seven-year-old German Shepard Mann, are winners of the 2023 ASPCA Public Service Award.

The duo was honored for their work preventing fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, from entering the country.

"The canine section of CBP has some of the most dedicated and hard-working officers in our agency,” said Officer Aquino, a member of Chapter 116 (CBP Arizona), who works with Mann to processes vehicles crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. “I am proud to not only be part of the Nogales canine unit but, most importantly, a CBP canine handler."

According to CBP, more than 87,000 pounds of fentanyl have been seized at the port of Nogales. This duo alone is responsible for more than 150 interdictions to date include 153 pounds of cocaine, 122 pounds of heroin and an astounding 943 pounds of fentanyl. Earlier this year, Mann uncovered more than 700,000 fentanyl pills during one stop, preventing them from reaching communities and saving countless lives.

Mann has also logged approximately 20 “cold hits,” where he initiated a search that sniffed out drugs.

Not even an injury could stop Mann’s heroic work. The canine recently tore a ligament and was out for a physical therapy walk at the Arizona field office when he alerted Aquino to the undercarriage of a car. Inside were 100 pounds of fentanyl pills that had gone undetected in an X-ray machine.

Chapter 116 President Patricia Cramer said Officer Aquino is deserving of the recognition and called him one of the best officers in Nogales.  

Aquino and Mann’s bond extends beyond the workplace. Officer Aquino plans to adopt Mann upon the dog’s retirement in about a year.

"It was an honor to receive the 2023 ASPCA public service award,” Aquino said. “Being recognized by CBP and other organizations for our work has made me extremely proud of Mann's achievements during his five years with CBP."