DRUG WAR CONTINUES IN NEW MEXICO
Even after the governor of New Mexico declared a state of emergency as a result of increased criminal activity by illegal aliens, Gov. Bill Richardson's beleaguered border state is still a major front in the war on drugs.
US Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents made a significant drug seizure last week at a highway traffic checkpoint. Border Patrol agents discovered 2,226 pounds of marijuana in a 1997 tractor-trailer that was bound for Michigan.
Agents assigned to the New Mexico's Highway 54 checkpoint outside of Alamogordo encountered a tractor-trailer that drove into the primary inspection area. The driver of the truck, a US Citizen from Tennessee, was questioned about the contents of cargo.
While in the secondary inspection area, a CBP Border Patrol canine was requested and alerted on the trailer area. Agents searched the trailer and found several cellophane bundles contained in boxes. A total of 21 boxes containing 113 cellophane bundles of marijuana were retrieved, weighing 2,226 pounds. The value of the contraband is estimated at $1,700,000.
The driver, identified as 44-year old Walter Gene Bruce, was taken into custody and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration in Las Cruces with the contraband and truck.
Cocaine Seizures in New Mexico
Border Patrol agents in Alamogordo, New Mexico seized $6.8 million in cocaine in two separate seizures at New Mexico highway traffic checkpoints. Agents seized 10 pounds of cocaine at the traffic checkpoint on NM Highway 54, south of Alamogordo. The following day, agents at the traffic checkpoint on NM Highway 70 confiscated approximately 205 pounds of cocaine in a northbound vehicle.
The seizure of 10 pounds was made in a 1997 Ford Expedition after a canine confirmed an agent's suspicion on the presence of contraband. The canine alerted on the passenger side of the vehicle where agents subsequently located four black bundles hidden in the dashboard area. The bundles were weighed and totaled 10 pounds, valued at $328,000.00. The driver, a 20-year old male from Mexico, was taken into custody and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration in Las Cruces.
In the other incident, agents at the traffic checkpoint on New Mexico Highway 70 seized 205 pounds of cocaine in a tractor-trailer that was transporting band equipment to Nashville, Tennessee. The seizure, which is the largest cocaine bust of the year in Alamogordo, was made after 70 cellophane bundles were located in the cargo area. Agents first encountered the driver and passenger of the tractor-trailer rig and the driver's unusual mannerisms made agents suspicious of the truck's cargo. Agents received consent by the driver to conduct a search of the truck and trailer.
A Border Patrol canine was summoned and alerted on two pieces of luggage in the floor of the sleeper area. The luggage contained several bundles of white powdery substance that later tested positive for cocaine. A total of 70 bundles were located throughout the truck and trailer. The estimated valued of the seizure is $6.5 million. One 35-year old male from California and a 28-year old male citizen of Mexico were arrested in connection with the seizure. The subjects, contraband and tractor-trailer were turned over to DEA for further disposition.
© 2005 Jim Kouri- All
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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.
...CBP Border Patrol canine was requested and alerted on the trailer area. Agents searched the trailer and found several cellophane bundles contained in boxes. A total of 21 boxes containing 113 cellophane bundles of marijuana were retrieved...