Regional
3:56 pm
Mon March 29, 2010

Border Patrol Seizes More Than $2.3M In Drugs

Lordsburg – Border Patrol agents encountered "booby traps" in southern New Mexico and foiled 14 attempts to smuggle approximately 2,900 pounds of narcotics in separate seizures.

The busy weekend was ominous as Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Lordsburg Station made 10 different seizures, including the significant seizure of 477 pounds of marijuana. Agents in Lordsburg utilized the latest enforcement technology to watch a group of drug smugglers as they walked north near Rodeo, NM.

After responding to the area, Agents came upon 11 abandoned burlap backpacks full of narcotics, weighing 477 pounds. The total amount of the load is estimated to be valued at more than $382,000. The smugglers who carried the burlap sacks apparently absconded back into Mexico. This seizure was followed by nine other attempts to smuggle a total of 2,270 pounds of marijuana in various locations in New Mexico. The value of those loads is approximately $1,820,000.

Meanwhile, Agents from Deming Station had their hands full dealing with suspected smugglers after they appeared to have set barbwire "booby traps" in roadways along the border. Regardless of the terror tactic, agents still managed to thwart three attempts to smuggle narcotics into the United States in that area. The traps that were found contained a suspended strand of barbwire stretched approximately four feet above the ground, across a dirt road, where agents routinely ride all-terrain vehicle's (ATV's). One of the three marijuana seizures in that area stood out from the rest in the amount of 320 pounds. Agents used forward-looking infrared camera to identify six individuals walking north toward Interstate 10, near mile marker 41. Agents intercepted the narcotics load and arrested six individuals connected with the smuggling attempt. Agents estimate the value of the load at $258,000. Agents from the Deming Station seized a total of 637 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than a half-million dollars.

New Mexico Agents weren't alone in interrupting the exploits of drug smugglers. El Paso Station Agents also got in on the round-up when they observed an individual attempting to blend into pedestrian traffic on the Stanton Street Bridge. The man attempted to use his bicycle to circumvent the tollbooths and security guards on the bridge. Agents arrested him and a subsequent search of the person revealed that he was attempting to smuggle approximately 16 pounds of marijuana, valued at $12,800.

In all, Border Patrol Agents netted $2,340,000 worth of narcotics over the weekend.

In each case, the contraband was turned over to the appropriate investigating agency for final disposition.

To date, in fiscal year 2010 (through February), El Paso Sector agents have seized just less than $35 million in narcotics.