Border Patrol Stops $700,000+ Cocaine Smuggling Attempt

Las Cruces – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Alamogordo, New Mexico station, arrested two men after seizing approximately 22 pounds of cocaine with an approximated street value of $703,360.00

On January 20, Border Patrol Agents from the Alamogordo Station were conducting traffic check operations at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway I-54 just south of Alamogordo, New Mexico. The driver of a 1997 Ford Econoline van and his passenger were referred to secondary inspection after a primary inspection revealed inconsistent statements.

A non-intrusive K-9 inspection was conducted and yielded positive results. With the aid of advanced technology, further inspection revealed anomalies in both the rear corner panels behind the van. A search of the vehicle revealed 16 bundles of cocaine weighing approximately 22 pounds, with an estimated street value of $703,360.00.

The 28-year-old driver, Carlos Ivan Oquedo, and 37-year-old passenger, Francisco Antonio Lopez were arrested. The two subjects, narcotics and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) pending prosecution.