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Border Patrol K-9 Alerts to Huge Drug Cache In Trailer

Release Date: 
November 4, 2015

ALAMOGORDO, New Mexico –U.S. Border Patrol Agents at the Highway 70 Immigration Checkpoint outside of Alamogordo seized approximately $1-million in marijuana on October 30th that was concealed in a horse trailer.

Horse Trailer Used in Marijuana Smuggling

Horse Trailer Used in Marijuana Smuggling

Border Patrol Agents working at the U.S. Immigration Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 70, west of Alamogordo, New Mexico, were routinely inspecting vehicles when a Ford truck and a horse trailer containing three horses arrived.  During the inspection, the canine alerted to the trailer.  Agents asked for and received consent from the driver to search the trailer.  A non-intrusive X-Ray was taken of the trailer, which revealed several anomalies.  After a more extensive search, agents discovered 39 bundles of marijuana, weighing 1,116 pounds. The estimated value of the contraband is $893,280, and a .357 revolver was also found in the possession of the driver.  The driver was identified as 66-year-old Robert Duncan, a United States Citizen from Plains, Texas.  He was placed under arrest and the truck, horse trailer, handgun and marijuana were seized.  The Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of the driver, marijuana, truck and trailer.  The New Mexico Assistant U.S. Attorney accepted the case for prosecution.

Later that evening while performing surveillance duties, agents assigned near the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso observed a grey Volkswagen that stopped directly underneath the international bridge with its lights off.  A lone male exited the vehicle and appeared to pick up an unknown item off the ground.  As agents approached the area, the subject quickly drove away on the U.S. 54 Hwy. on-ramp before they could stop and question him.  As agents lay and waited in the area, they saw two bundles drop from atop the international bridge.  The packages were confiscated and transported to the El Paso Station’s Processing Center, where the cellophane packages were unwrapped. The bundles revealed 15.8 pounds of marijuana, valued at $12,640.

Agents have taken recent notice that the Mount Cristo Rey area has also become busy, which is under the jurisdiction of the Santa Teresa Station. Early on Sunday, agents saw two individuals, one male and one female, hiking up the trails on the mountain. The two subjects made their way back down the trail, but the female did not appear to be the same person that went up. Agents approached the individuals, and after a brief investigation it was determined that the female who came down the mountain was illegally in the U.S. She was identified as 20-year-old Maria Gorteti Santillan Ortega, from Mexico.  She was transported to the Border Patrol Station where she was processed for removal.

These incidents demonstrate how the immigration checkpoints provide a secondary line of defense which help in combating the furtherance of illicit drugs into our community.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017