Pot bust, mountain rescue keep Border Patrol Agents busy

Border Patrol Agents in New Mexico were busy foiling another marijuana smuggling attempt through an immigration checkpoint while other agents were assisting with a rescue.

Just before 1 a.m. Thursday morning, a red SUV pulled up to the Highway 54 checkpoint near Alamogordo, New Mexico. During the immigration inspection, the driver became suspicious to agents because of his level of nervousness. The agent observed that the vehicle was riding slightly lower in the rear with no obvious payload, which led to continued questioning.

DSCN6278 (3)The vehicle was referred to secondary inspection where a Border Patrol canine conducted a non-intrusive search, and alerted to the possible presence of drugs. Further inspection with the use of non-intrusive technology alerted agents to the spare tire of the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Agents discovered that small bundles of marijuana had been hidden inside of the spare tire. The value of the contraband is estimated at $45,080.

The driver, 56-year old Rigoberto Salgado-Martinez, a legal permanent citizen from Mexico was arrested. The contraband and the subject were turned over to the DEA for prosecution.

On Wednesday, the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station was contacted by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, who advised they needed help transporting medical personnel to Pratt’s Peak.

A local woman had sustained a broken leg from a fall. Local police received a call from a woman in distress that had fallen from a mule and had broken her leg.  Agents from the Lordsburg Horse Patrol and ATV Units were dispatched to the area after local medical personnel were unable to reach the woman due to the rugged and treacherous terrain.

Agents were able to carry the woman to an area where a helicopter from El Paso Air and Marine Operations were able to respond to the scene and managed to evacuate the woman.

A certified Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technician Agent was on scene to provide medical assistance.  The woman was then transported to a Tucson hospital by Native Air.