Border Agents Seize more than $290,000 in Marijuana, Foil Human-Smuggling Attempt
Deming, N.M –Vigilance by U.S. Border Patrol agents in southern New Mexico led to three halted smuggling attempts in Deming and Santa Teresa over the weekend. Agents seized a total of 366 pounds of marijuana and arrested 26 smuggled subjects during that period.
On September 15, Deming agents patrolled NM Hwy 9--east of Hachita-New Mexico, when they came upon a suspicious Chevrolet truck traveling east. Agents attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver failed to yield. A controlled tire-deflation device was ultimately deployed and the truck came to a stop.
Agents arrested the driver, later identified as 27-year-old Fernando Monsivais Reyna, a Mexican National. Agents also found 20 additional subjects hiding inside the cab and bed of the pick-up. Further investigation revealed several small bricks throughout the bed area that later tested positive for marijuana.
The driver of the vehicle, along with the 210 pounds of marijuana valued at $168,000, were transferred over to Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution. The 20 subjects were taken into custody and detained at the Deming Station.
Earlier that day, Deming Agents concentrated on dark sedan traveling along the same highway outside of Columbus, New Mexico. Based on intelligence information, an immigration stop was made. As Agents approached the driver’s side window, the driver accelerated away from the scene at a high rate of speed. Agents successfully deployed a tire-deflation device, and after a short pursuit, the driver stopped the car and attempted to flee on foot. Agents apprehended the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Saul Corral Jaquez, a Mexican National. Agents found 156 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the car. The driver and contraband, valued at $124,800, were taken into custody by DEA pending federal prosecution.
One final event transpired that day. At approximately 10:30 a.m., agents of the Santa Teresa Station watched a group of subjects make an illegal entry into the U.S. 21 miles west of the Santa Teresa Station.
Agents saw the group continue north toward NM Hwy. 9. Once again, Agents tried to make an immigration stop, but the SUV failed to stop. Agents successfully deployed a tire-deflation device causing the SUV to halt. The driver exited and tried to hide in a mesquite bush, where he was located and detained.
Agents found and detained the original group of six subjects. The group including the driver, later identified as Adan Romero, a United States Citizen, were taken into custody and transported to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station. The driver was eventually turned over to Homeland Security Investigations pending criminal prosecution.
These latest incidents demonstrate the vigilance by U.S. Border Patrol Agents and their ability to rapidly respond and combat human smuggling and illicit drugs along southwest border communities.