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El Paso Sector Agents Collar Marijuana Seizures

Release Date: 
April 3, 2015

El Paso Sector–Six drug smugglers and more than $648,000 in marijuana were intercepted throughout the El Paso Sector, including one seizure made in Fort Hancock, Texas.

Marijuana found inside the backpacks of drug smugglers

With the help of a U.S. Border Patrol canine, a total of 234 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $187,280 were found in five back packs on the ground in the same area the group was apprehended.

In the early morning of April 2nd, Agents used night vision technology and tracking skills to detect and follow six people walking with large backpacks north of a local ranch in Fort Hancock. The tracks eventually led agents to the smugglers attempting to conceal themselves in the surrounding brush.  Four individuals were quickly apprehended, while the other two subjects ran toward the border in an attempt to evade arrest. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Air Support was in the area and assisted the agents, guiding them to the two suspects. With the help of a U.S. Border Patrol canine, a total of 234 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $187,280 were found in five back packs on the ground in the same area the group was apprehended.

Once the six subjects and their contraband were transported to the processing station, they were identified as: 32-year-old David Rubio Ruelas from Mexico; 25-year-old Sergio Rosas Martinez from Mexico; 21-year-old Juan Solis Camacho from Mexico; 37-year-old Noe Oliveros Bautista from Mexico; 54-year-old Julian De La Rosa Calleros from Mexico and 41-year-old Norman Gamoneda Romero from Honduras. All subjects and the marijuana were taken into custody by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in El Paso, Texas and are pending prosecution.

During the evening hours, agents assigned to the Fort Hancock Station tracked four people who had crossed the international boundary illegally. The group turned around and headed south where Agents detected their entry back into Mexico about one-quarter mile east of where they initially entered the United States. A common tactic that drug smugglers use is to quickly turn around and hide the narcotics they were carrying if they suspect that they are being tracked by the U.S. Border Patrol.  Because this group behaved in the same manner, the Agents searched the area extensively for drugs. The agents’ diligence paid off when five bundles of marijuana were found in the desert brush. The marijuana totaled 239.1 pounds and had a street value of $191,200. The marijuana was taken back to the Fort Hancock Station where it is awaiting transfer to the DEA in El Paso, Texas.

Elsewhere, in the high-noon hours, Border Patrol Agents in Deming, New Mexico, came across foot prints of two individuals crossing the United States/Mexico International Boundary. Agents were riding on all-terrain vehicles (ATV) in the desert during a training session. The Border Patrol Agents then followed the foot prints in a northwesterly direction for approximately three miles until they observed two large abandoned burlap-wrapped marijuana bundles hidden underneath some brush. 

The agents searched for the drug smugglers in the surrounding area, but the tracks left by the smugglers made it apparent that they had left back into Mexico. The seized marijuana totaled 88 pounds with an estimated street value of $70,880 and was turned over to the DEA in Las Cruces, New Mexico.          

Later that evening, Lordsburg Border Patrol Agents found foot prints traveling northwest from Highway 80 that led to six burlap-wrapped backpacks containing 248.45 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the marijuana was almost $200,000.

These incidents demonstrate how Agents and the use of technology and canines work to rapidly respond to areas is combating the furtherance of illicit drugs into our community, while keeping our nation’s borders safe.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017