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U.S. Border Patrol Surveillance Leads To Aggravated Felon And Drug Seizures

Release Date: 
February 12, 2020

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. – El Paso Border Patrol agents apprehend a previously deported criminal alien in Sunland Park, New Mexico. 

Late Monday night, Santa Teresa Border Patrol agents conducting line watch operations observed two people making an illegal entry in the Sunland Park area. Agents responded to the area where they encountered two men. Both were taken into custody and transported to the station for further processing.   

Record checks at the Santa Teresa Border Patrol station revealed that one subject, Saul Yanez-Vazquez, a 31-year-old Mexican national is a previously deported criminal/aggravated felon. Yanez- Vasquez had been arrested in June of 2009 by the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office in Topeka, Kansas.  The subject served prison time for the weapon’s charge and later deported from the United States. 

Vazquez’s criminal history includes a conviction for an aggravated felony conviction for illegal alien in possession of a firearm. He will remain in custody pending criminal prosecution. 

In a separate incident, Lordsburg Border Patrol agents were alerted by a video surveillance system to two individuals attempting to transport narcotics by illegally crossing and traversing the Sulphur Canyon Mountain area early Tuesday morning. 

A Lordsburg agent and his canine service dog responding to the area alerted to four abandoned bundles of narcotics following a search of the area. The suspected drug smugglers were pursued and later apprehended in close proximity to the bundles. Because the seizure occurred in the state of Arizona, Tucson Sector prosecutions was contacted and accepted custody and possession of the subjects and narcotics.  

The seizure yielded approximately 168 pounds of marijuana. 

U.S. Border Patrol agents are vigilant and use video surveillance to help patrol remote areas and rugged terrain in the El Paso Sector area. This vital technology aids agents in combating the furtherance of illicit drugs into our community and in helping to keep our nation safe.   

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509 toll-free.   

It is important to note that an arrest should not be considered evidence of guilt, and subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  

Please visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @USBPChiefEPT and @CBPWestTexas.

Last modified: 
February 12, 2020