Border Patrol snags $893k of pot outside Alamogordo

ALAMOGORDO, New Mexico –U.S. Border Patrol Agents at the Highway 70 Immigration Checkpoint outside of Alamogordo seized approximately $1-million in marijuana on October 30th that was concealed in a horse trailer.

Early Friday morning, Border Patrol Agents working at the U.S. Immigration Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 70, west of Alamogordo, New Mexico, were routinely inspecting vehicles as a Ford truck and a horse trailer containing three horses arrived.

During the inspection, the canine alerted to the horse trailer.  The Agents asked for and received consent from the driver to search the trailer.  A non-intrusive X-Ray was taken of the trailer, which revealed several anomalies.  After a more extensive search, agents discovered 39 bundles of marijuana, weighing 1,116 pounds.

DSC03613The estimated value of the contraband is $893,280, and a .357 revolver was also found in the possession of the driver.  The driver was later identified as 66-year-old United States Citizen, Robert Duncan, from Plains, Texas.  He was placed under arrest as the truck, horse trailer, handgun and marijuana were seized.

The Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of the driver, marijuana, truck and horse trailer.  The New Mexico Assistant U.S. Attorney has accepted the case for prosecution.

Later that same evening while performing surveillance duties, agents assigned near the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso observed a grey Volkswagen that stopped directly underneath the international bridge with its lights off.

Agents observed a lone male exit the vehicle and appeared to pick up an unknown item off the ground.  As agents approached the area, the subject quickly drove away and via the US 54 on-ramp before they could stop and question him.

As agents lay and waited in the area, they observed two bundles drop from atop of the international bridge.  The two packages were confiscated and transported to the El Paso Station’s Processing Center where the cellophane packages were unwrapped. The bundles revealed 15.8 pounds of marijuana, valued at $12,640.

Agents have taken notice that another busy area for the El Paso Sector Border Patrol has been Mount Cristo Rey, which is under the jurisdiction of the Santa Teresa Station. Early on Sunday, November 1st, agents observed two individuals, one male and one female, hiking up the trails on the mountain. They watched as two subjects made their way back down the trail but noticed that the female did not appear to be the same person that went up.

Agents approached the individuals and after a brief investigation it was determined that the female who came down the mountain was illegally in the U.S. She was identified as 20-year-old Maria Gorteti Santillan Ortega, from Mexico.  She was transported to the Border Patrol Station where she was processed for removal.

Author: US Border Patrol