COLUMBUS, New Mexico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents performing outbound inspections at the Columbus port of entry apprehended a wanted man Friday. The subject was being sought in Albuquerque in connection with a vehicular manslaughter case dating back several years.
“CBP performs outbound exams as part of its homeland security mission,” said Robert Reza, CBP Columbus Port Director. “Our personnel are looking for a variety of violations such as unreported currency and smuggled weapons and ammunition. Those southbound exams also uncover fugitives attempting to leave the country.”
The arrest was made just before 11 a.m. at the Columbus port of entry southbound inspection area when a 2010 Kia Forte arrived with five occupants. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents initiated an inspection and determined that three of the occupants of the vehicle were Mexican citizens and did not have any legal entry documents allowing them to be in the U.S.
CBP officers continued their queries and learned that one of the men, 28-year-old Jose Merced Mendez Nevarez, had an active warrant out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in connection with a vehicular manslaughter case dating back to September 2007. CBP officers took custody of the subject and confirmed the warrant. He was turned over to the Luna County Sheriff’s Office. The other two men who did not have legal entry documents were processed for expedited removal and returned to Mexico.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.