Lordsburg, N.M. - Despite the downward trend in apprehensions in the El Paso Sector, the job of U.S. Border Patrol agents continues to be challenging as evidenced by the foiling of 14 separate attempts to smuggle approximately 2,900 pounds of narcotics into the U.S.
The busy weekend began with Border Patrol agents assigned to the Lordsburg Station making 10 different seizures, the largest being 477 pounds of marijuana. Agents in Lordsburg utilized the latest enforcement technology to watch a group of drug smugglers as they walked north near Rodeo, N.M. After responding to the area, agents found 11 abandoned burlap backpacks full of narcotics, weighing a combined 477 pounds. The total amount of the load is estimated to be valued at more than $382,000. The smugglers who carried the burlap sacks apparently absconded back into Mexico. This seizure was followed by nine other attempts to smuggle a total of 2,270 pounds of marijuana in various locations in New Mexico. The value of those loads is approximately $1,820,000.
Meanwhile, agents from Deming Station had their hands full dealing with suspected smugglers who appeared to have set barbwire "booby traps" in roadways along the border. Regardless of the tactic, agents still managed to thwart three attempts to smuggle narcotics into the United States in that area. The traps that were found contained a suspended strand of barbwire stretched approximately four feet above the ground across a dirt road where agents patrol aboard all - terrain vehicles.
Agents using a forward-looking infrared camera located a group of individuals walking north toward Interstate 10 near mile marker 41. After responding to the areas, they intercepted 320 pounds of marijuana and arrested six individuals connected with the smuggling attempt. The load is estimated to be worth $258,000. In another seizure, agents from the Deming Station recovered 637 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than a $500,000.
New Mexico agents weren't alone in interrupting the exploits of drug smugglers. El Paso Station agents also got in on the round-up when they observed an individual attempting to blend into pedestrian traffic on the Stanton Street Bridge. The man attempted to use his bicycle to circumvent the tollbooths and security guards on the bridge. Agents arrested him and a subsequent search revealed that he was attempting to smuggle approximately 16 pounds of marijuana, valued at $12,800.
In all, Border Patrol agents in the West Texas and Southern New Mexico area netted $2,340,000 worth of narcotics over the weekend.
In each case, the contraband was turned over to the appropriate investigating agency for final disposition.
Through February 2010, El Paso Sector agents have seized nearly $35 million in narcotics.
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.