Las Cruces Border Patrol Agents Seize Nearly $1 Million In Cocaine

Las Cruces – Border Patrol agents in Las Cruces seized nearly 23 bundles of cocaine located in the gasoline tank of a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.

The driver was arrested in this latest attempt to smuggle a narcotics load past the I-10 Border Patrol checkpoint.

On Sunday, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Las Cruces, New Mexico traffic checkpoint on I-10 apprehended 34-year old Pablo Ornelas-Hernandez (a citizen of Mexico) after it was discovered that the 2004 Volkswagen Jetta that he was driving was loaded with narcotics. Agents observed the vehicle with a single passenger approach the primary inspection area and proceeded to question him. During preliminary inspection, the subject gave conflicting information and displayed unusual mannerisms. The vehicle was then referred to a secondary inspection, where a non-intrusive search by a canine unit alerted to the presence of narcotics.

Ornelas-Hernandez was taken into custody and the narcotics and the vehicle were seized. The vehicle, narcotics and subject were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for prosecution.

Las Cruces agents were not alone in the fight against drugs this weekend, agents from Lordsburg once again found themselves in pursuit of more smugglers trying to carry their contraband through the New Mexico desert. In two separate events, agents were able to capitalize on the use of their skills of detection and tracking to locate and take custody of the drugs. These two additional seizures were backpacked into the United States from Mexico using remote and isolated locations along the border. The total estimated street value of the marijuana seized by the Lordsburg Station this weekend was $345,000.

In fiscal year 2010 the El Paso Sector Border Patrol seized a total of $62 million in narcotics.