BORSTAR rescue agents (File Photo)
(Deming) - Efforts by U.S. Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection assets helped save the lives of two distressed undocumented immigrants east of the Florida Mountains, near Deming.on Monday.
Ronald LeBlanc, Acting Patrol Agent in Charge of the Las Cruces, N.M. USBP Station said “Yesterday's (Monday's) rescue was a textbook example of multiple CBP assets working for a common cause—the protection of welfare and life.”
On Monday afternoon, the Las Cruces Border Patrol Station was notified by Luna
County’s Central Dispatch about an emergency distress call received from two people who said they were lost and in need of medical assistance. The Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of their location were received by the Luna County Dispatch from a signal off their cell phone.
Agents from New Mexico USBP stations in Las Cruces, Santa Teresa and Deming were dispatched to an area southwest of the I-10 traffic checkpoint to stage the rescue attempt
After a three-hour search of surrounding areas, two Mexican National males, ages 29 and 51, were located in an area between Deming and Las Cruces, N.M. known as “Rattlesnake Peak.” They had become lost and fell victim to the harsh desert climate and terrain.
An EMT-certified Border Patrol Agent was available to provide assistance to the two men until such time they could be transported to a safe location. The subjects were subsequently transported by Luna County Emergency Medical Services to the Mimbres Hospital in Deming, where they received medical treatment for severe dehydration.
Traversing the remote Southern border areas can present grave danger to illegal migrants who are unaware of the extreme heat posed by summer temperatures. Additionally, they may not be prepared or equipped with sufficient food and water for the length of time required to reach an ultimate destination, which could be several days.
Rescues and deaths of migrants encountered considerably from 190 incidents (involving 504 people) in FY 2006, to just 13 incidents (involving 20 people) in FY 2011.
(Deming) – A Deming man was arrested at the Columbus port of entry Tuesday after being caught with nearly 300 pounds of marijuana.
66-year-old old Benjamin Espino was turned over to U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling
Columbus Port Director Robert Reza said Espino was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup at just after 3:30 Tuesday morning.
Reza said the pickup was selected for secondary exam… and port officers noticed signs of tampering. An x-ray of the truck showed anomalies in the appearance of the floor of the truck. A narcotics canine also alerted to the floor… and that’s where officers found 276 marijuana-filled bundles weighing 295-pounds.
Reza said Espino is a legal permanent resident from Mexico who lives in Deming.
Although the primary mission of U-S Customs and Border Protection officers is anti-terrorism… their mission also
includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction.
Reza said they screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the U-S.
Officials at the Luna County Detention Center said a photo of Espino was not available due to him being charged with a Federal Crime.
A Mexican national last week pleaded guilty to attempting to bribe a Customs and Border Protection officer at the Columbus port of entry.
25-year-old Gabriela Quintana-Hernandez of Gomez Farias, Chihuahua, Mexico, reportedly offered the Customs officer 25-hundred dollars if he would help her get to Albuquerque. The bribe attempt was prompted by the fact that Quintana-Hernandez did not have immigration documents permitting her to enter the United States legally.
The officer reported the bribe, and Quintana-Hernandez was arrested at the port on December 1st and has remained in federal custody. Her sentencing hearing has not been set.