Border Patrol Agents from Deming were put to the test in separate incidents over weekend when criminals attempted to carry narcotics into the country from Mexico, and re-entered the U.S. after having been previously convicted of a felony-then removed.
In the evening hours, Aug. 30, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Deming Border Patrol Station were notified by FLIR camera system operators that they observed a group of subjects walking north from the border area. Agents responded to investigate and discovered a trail of signs left by the subjects. Using tracking skills utilized for centuries, combined with the latest technology, the agents located and apprehended them. In an attempt to elude the agents, the subjects dropped the bundles they were carrying and tried to hide in heavy brush; unaware that the camera had already caught their images and the packages they were carrying. A quick search of the area yielded various backpacks containing 87.9 lbs. of marijuana, valued at more than $70,000.
A few hours later, four other undocumented immigrants crossed the border in an attempt to enter illegally. That attempt was short lived after agents were alerted to their entry. Once again, old-world methodology won out as agents used tracking skills and relentless pursuit to lead them to the location of the four subjects attempting to make their way to I-10. All the individuals were taken in to custody without incident.
Upon arrest, all the subjects from both arrests identified themselves as Mexican Nationals and were transported to the Deming Station’s Processing Center. The subjects’ biographical and biometrical information were entered into the E3/IAFIS/IDENT systems for a search of any prior criminal history. Only one of the immigrants transporting the narcotics revealed a relevant criminal history; 54-year-old Manuel Noriega Ruvalcaba, from Mexico, was previously convicted of Sexual Assault- Rape by Force in Los Angeles, California. Noriega was sentenced to six years in prison by the Los Angeles Superior Court where he served two years before being released and ordered removed back to his home country of Mexico. Noriega was subsequently remanded to the custody of the Luna County Detention Facility, pending criminal prosecution. In all the narcotic seizure cases, the contraband and subjects were turned over the Drug Enforcement Administration in Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas respectively.
Agents assigned to the El Paso Sector had a productive holiday weekend after seizing more than 500 pounds of narcotics, valued at over $400,000.