COLUMBUS, N.M.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents conducting an outbound operation at the Columbus port of entry Thursday recovered two vehicles that were reported stolen in northern New Mexico. Two Albuquerque men were taken into custody and turned over to New Mexico State Police for prosecution.
"The primary focus of CBP's outbound operations are to stop and intercept the southbound flow of unreported currency, weapons and ammunition," said Edward Sinderson, acting CBP Columbus port director. "Those checks also turn up fugitives, people who are in the country illegally, stolen vehicles and other violations of federal and local laws."
The first apprehension was made at approximately 6:30 a.m. when officers and agents were conducting southbound operations. They spotted a vehicle approach the border before stopping and turning around and driving north away from the inspection site. Border Patrol agents followed the vehicle and stopped it two miles north of the border on New Mexico highway 11. The driver, a 31-year-old male, was taken into custody and the vehicle was returned to the Columbus port of entry. A check on the 2005 Dodge Durango showed that it was reported stolen in Albuquerque.
The second apprehension was made at approximately 8:30 a.m. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents were conducting southbound operations when a 2003 Chevrolet pick up arrived at the inspection site. CBP officers initiated an inspection and noticed that the driver, a 17-year-old male, was nervous during a routine interview. CBP officers queried the vehicle information and confirmed that it was reported stolen in Albuquerque. The driver was taken into custody.
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.