Alamogordo, N. M. - U. S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents working at New Mexico checkpoints arrested two subjects and seized over $560,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana, in two separate incidents on February 24.
The first incident occurred in the morning at the Highway 54 Border Patrol checkpoint, located near Alamogordo, NM. Agents encountered 48-year-old Jose Angel Villanueva-Gomez, a Mexican citizen, as he presented himself for inspection while an agency canine conducted a non-intrusive search of the vehicle. The canine search resulted in a positive alert which led agents to a more in-depth search of the subject's pick-up truck. During the search, agents detected an after-market compartment, which lead to the finding of five concealed cellophane bundles. The contents tested positive for cocaine, with a total weight of 12.32 pounds and an approximate value of $394,240.
Later that afternoon in a separate incident, Border Patrol agents working north of Las Cruces, N.M. at the I-25 Border Patrol checkpoint, encountered a passenger van driven by 36-year-old Dushane Dawson, a U.S. citizen from Truth or Consequences, N.M. After a canine alerted to the vehicle, the agents conducted a non-intrusive search using state-of-the-art technology and discovered several bundles hidden in the roof of the van. The bundles contained a total of 210 pounds of marijuana, valued at approximately $168,000.
The subjects and narcotics in both incidents were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for prosecution.
These two seizures exemplify the daily efforts made by CBP Border Patrol agents and their use of modern technology to assure that illicit drugs do not get into the community, while keeping the 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.