Meth and Marijuana Confiscated by United States Border Patrol
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico –Border Patrol Agents in New Mexico were busy intercepting law violators the second weekend in December, including an arrest of one subject trying to smuggle drugs through a traffic checkpoint.
It began when an SUV pulled into the I-10 traffic checkpoint west of Las Cruces, NM. During an immigration inspection, agents became suspicious of the driver due to his mannerisms, and the information he provided.
A Border Patrol canine conducted a non-intrusive search, and alerted to the possible presence of narcotics. Further inspection on the 2002 Chevrolet Suburban revealed 13 tape-wrapped bundles containing 16 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the gas tank. The value of the narcotics is estimated at $516,000. The driver was arrested. The vehicle and bundles of methamphetamine were seized and turned over to the DEA in Las Cruces.
Two hours later, Border Patrol Agents in Lordsburg found five burlap backpacks totaling 229 pounds of marijuana, valued at approximately $183,000.
In other weekend cases, Border Patrol Agents from southern New Mexico seized a total of 257.9 pounds of marijuana. On December 11, a Border Patrol Agent assigned to the Lordsburg Station, stopped to assist a motorist who had a flat tire. While talking to the driver, the agent noticed two large, burlap-wrapped bundles resembling bales of marijuana in the rear storage compartment of the vehicle. When the Agent searched the vehicle, a third bale was found tucked behind the driver’s seat. The Agent also found 4.8 grams of cocaine in the driver's purse.
In total, 144.6 pounds of marijuana was found in the vehicle, valued at $115,600. Special Agents from DEA responded and took custody of the driver and contraband.
The Horse Patrol Unit from Deming, New Mexico also were active in assisting Santa Teresa Agents in tracking two people in the desert. After discovered their footprints, Horse Patrol agents followed and found two men asleep underneath a mesquite bush. As the Agents dismounted the horses, they could see that the men were also sleeping on two burlap wrapped bundles, which ultimately was determined to be marijuana. Agents identified the men as two men in their 20's from Mexico. The men stated they were carrying the marijuana bundles as payment for being illegally transported across the U.S. border. They were placed under arrest and transported, and are being set up for prosecution. DEA took custody of the subjects and contraband.
On December 12, agents patrolling Highway 80 near Road Forks-NM, came in contact with a sedan with Arizona plates. This area is notorious for the illegal smuggling of drugs and people into the U.S. from Mexico. Investigative circumstances led Agents to three undocumented subjects attempting to conceal themselves in the back seat, and two additional undocumented individuals inside the trunk. The driver and the passenger were later identified as U.S. Citizens. All undocumented subjects were processed for removal, and the vehicle was seized according to Customs and Border Protection guidelines.
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.