Incidents of Smuggling Continue to Pose Challenges for U.S. Border Patrol Agents in West Texas and New Mexico
TEXAS/NEW MEXICO—El Paso sector U.S Border Patrol agents made substantial seizures of narcotics and arrests over the past weekend, including the arrests of a convicted felon and more than 1,000 pounds of narcotics.
On Friday, Jan. 25, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Clint, Texas, station, arrested 55-year-old Mexican Citizen Jose Alonso Nevarez Lujan for being illegally in the U.S. record checks conducted through the Integrated Automated Finger Print Identification System (IAFIS) revealed an extensive immigration and criminal history, including a cocaine conviction out of Denver, Colo. During questioning, the subject clearly volunteered information in reference to a homicide that had occurred in Peña Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico. Currently, El Paso sector's international liaison unit is coordinating with Mexican authorities to clarify this case.
The subject was booked into the El Paso county detention facility awaiting criminal and immigration proceedings.
On that same day, U.S. Border Patrol agents made another seizure at the immigration checkpoint on Highway 54 south of Alamogordo, N.M. when they seized 112 pounds of marijuana with an approximate street value of $89,500, concealed inside a gas tank of a sports utility vehicle. The driver, 32-year-old Oscar Rafael Chavez was taken into custody and subsequently turned over to DEA. The subject's vehicle was seized by the U.S Border Patrol.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 70 immigration checkpoint west of Alamogordo, N.M., apprehended 41-year-old Mary Ann Frescas, and her 42-year-old sister, Margie Ann Gray, both U.S. citizens. Inconsistent information provided to agents, along with a non-intrusive K-9 inspection, alerted agents to the rental U-Haul truck the subjects were in. Further inspection revealed 86 cellophane-wrapped bundles of marijuana weighing more than 520 pounds, valued at approximately $420,000.
The narcotics and women were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in Las Cruces, N.M., for prosecution.
Lastly, while working the bootheel area of New Mexico, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Lordsburg station found a dozen backpacks containing marijuana with an approximate weight of 633 pounds and an approximate street value of $328,000. An extensive search of the area was conducted by agents who were unable to locate any of the subjects or additional narcotics.
Recent drug seizures and arrests in west Texas and New Mexico are a testimony to how CBP and the U.S. Border Patrol are utilizing all resources available: including technology, personnel, mechanical, K-9 and equestrian assets in order to keep illicit contraband and criminal activity out of our communities and neighborhoods. These actions are making a valuable difference in securing our nation's borders and improving the quality of life in our communities.
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.