SANTA TERESA, N.M. - U.S. Border Patrol Agents working west of Santa Teresa managed to track down three suspected drug smugglers along with their contraband as they made their way through the New Mexico desert.
Wednesday evening, Santa Teresa Station Border Patrol Agents were conducting night vision surveillance near New Mexico Highway 9 when they spotted three individuals making their way north from the U.S /Mexico International Boundary carrying backpacks. Agents responded with all-terrain vehicles (ATV), and began using their tracking techniques to cross paths with them.
Air Interdiction Agents from the Office of Air and Marine (OAM), El Paso Air Branch, also responded by providing air support helping to locate these subjects. Utilizing support from the ATV unit and an OAM helicopter, Agents were able to quickly locate these subjects. The air units were able to pinpoint the exact location of the subjects as they dropped the backpacks and attempted to flee back to Mexico. After carefully searching the area, the three backpacks were located approximately 100 yards from where the subjects were detained. The backpacks contained individually wrapped packages that were determined to be marijuana.
Victor Efren Cuevas Hernandez, 33-year old, from Mexico, Jesus Amaro Villa, 25-year old, from Mexico, and Adan Romero Hernandez, 24-year old, from Mexico were later identified as the individuals having smuggled the backpacks of marijuana. The estimated street value of the contraband is $114,000. The contraband and the individuals were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration pending prosecution.
These incidents demonstrate how vigilance by U.S. Border Patrol Agents and the ability to leverage partnerships with other federal agencies, such as Office of Air and Marine, is keeping our 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.