Border Patrol Agents Foil Two Human Smuggling Attempts in N.M.
SANTA TERESA, N.M. – Border Patrol Agents from southern New Mexico continue to experience busy enforcement days, as evidenced by the recent arrests of a sex offender and wanted felon.
On February 3, Border Patrol Agents using night-vision technology watched several subjects use a ladder to climb over the fence near Sunland Park, New Mexico, and then enter the United States illegally. Agents saw five subjects scale the fence and then run toward nearby warehouses. Other agents in the vicinity were notified by the camera operator, and quickly mobilized to the area. The agents maintained visuals of the event and saw a vehicle drive up to the location of the subjects, who were hiding. They quickly got into the vehicle and left the area. Agents arrived to the location, aware that a silver pickup truck with a camper shell had also been seen there. Agents located the vehicle and attempted to perform an immigration stop along "Pete Domenici Highway". When agents activated their emergency equipment, the pickup did not come to a complete stop. It slowly drove along the highway shoulder then picked up speed in an attempt to flee. Agents positioned north of the vehicle were able to deploy a controlled tire-deflation device. The vehicle's tires were successfully deflated, but the vehicle continued down the highway, unyielding to law enforcement personnel. Local and state authorities were summoned to the area where Sunland Park Police and Dona Ana County Sheriff’s officers responded and assisted in the stop. Aerial surveillance was also provided by the El Paso Air Branch of CBP Air and Marine Operations.
Once the vehicle came to a complete stop at mile-marker 6, agents took the driver, later identified as 33-year-old Luis Miguel Macias, into custody. Macias is a U.S. Citizen. Five other subjects riding in the vehicle were unharmed and also taken into custody.
Border Patrol agents in Santa Teresa Station discovered that Macias had an extraditable warrant out of Colorado on charges of dangerous drugs, along with an extensive criminal history. The five subjects were determined to be Honduran Nationals, and were processed for immigration violations. The vehicle driver, Macias, was remanded to the Otero County Detention Facility pending prosecution in connection with Bringing in and Harboring aliens", 8-USC 1324, and extradition on the outstanding warrant.
The following day saw additional activity in southern N.M. as agents from the Deming Station were conducting operations at the Immigration Checkpoint, on N.M. State Road 11. A suspicious motorist presented himself for inspection, but Agents became suspicious of the driver who began to display strange mannerisms and inconsistencies with routine questions. Agents referred the vehicle and passengers to secondary inspection. Further questioning of persons in the vehicle led to a realization that 70-year-old Meredith Lee Wilkins, a U.S. Citizen, was attempting to transport two Mexican Nationals into the country illegally. All of the subjects were transported to the Deming Border Patrol Station for further processing.
These incidents demonstrate how vigilance by U.S. Border Patrol Agents and the ability to rapidly respond is helping stop the furtherance of dangerous criminals into our communities, while keeping our nation’s borders safe.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.