USBP Stops More Smuggling In N.M.
SANTA TERESA, NM– Border Patrol Agents assigned to the El Paso Sector are continuing to seize illegal contraband, despite repeated attempts by smugglers to bring drugs into both populated areas and through the desert.
Early Thursday, Agents from Santa Teresa observed a Nissan sedan that was associated with a suspected smuggler operating in the area. Agents grew increasingly suspicious after the vehicle kept driving around cattlepens adjacent to the U.S./Mexico border. Based on that, Agents conducted a vehicle stop on the vehicle traveling north toward the Pete Domenici Highway. After the driver consented to a search of the vehicle, agents discovered 44 pounds of marijuana hidden in the trunk and the subject was arrested. The driver was later identified as 21-year-old Marcos Hernandez, a United States citizen.
The subject and marijuana were transferred to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station to further process. The value of the marijuana is estimated to be more than $35,000. The subject and the seized marijuana were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations pending prosecution.
On September 23rd, Border Patrol Agents from the Santa Teresa Station came across three sets of foot-prints leading north from the U.S./Mexican border. The prints led to an area where they discovered three burlap sacks full of marijuana. Although no subjects were found in the area, a group of illegal immigrants had been apprehended there the day before. The burlap sacks yielded a total of 159 pounds of marijuana, with an approximate street value of $127,000. The case was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for disposition.
Shortly after 9:00 p.m. the same day, Agents from the El Paso Station came across a red SUV that momentarily stopped along the eastbound lanes of Cesar Chavez Border Highway, west of the “Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry”. Agents watched an unidentified male quickly exit the vehicle and hastily walk around the SUV, as if searching for something. The subject, possibly aware that agents were approaching his position, then drove away. He was stopped by Agents a short distance later due to his suspicious behavior and proximity to the border. The driver and vehicle were subsequently released without incident, but a search of the area where the driver stopped led to two abandoned backpacks. The backpacks contained 30 pounds of marijuana, valued at $24,000.
The abandoned contraband was transported to the El Paso Border Patrol Station pending transfer to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
These incidents demonstrate how vigilance by U.S. Border Patrol Agents is combating the furtherance of illicit drugs and keeping our communities 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.