(Columbus) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Columbus port of entry made an unusual discovery Thursday afternoon. They found a man lying face down in a shipment of red chile.
CBP agriculture specialists were initiating an examination of a commercial shipment of chile when they found a man sprawled out on top of the load, said Columbus Port Director Robert Reza. There was a bottle of tequila next to him and he appeared to be highly intoxicated when we encountered the subject.
The 35-year-old Mexican male told CBP officers he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico hoping to catch a ride to Chicago. His ill-fated journey to the United States lasted less than 100 yards when he was met by CBP. He was processed for expedited removal and returned to Mexico. CBP agriculture specialists continued their exam without incident and released the shipment and notified the importer of their unexpected discovery.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
(Deming) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized nearly 300 pounds of marijuana valued at over $235,000 Wednesday afternoon.
According to a media release, the seizure was made at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday when a Ford F250 pickup truck towing an empty flatbed trailer entered the port from Mexico.
A narcotics canine alerted to the trailer, and an officer drilled into the wooden floor of the trailer and found a green substance which tested positive for marijuana.
Officers then opened the wooden floor of the trailer and removed 286 marijuana-filled bundles weighing 294 pounds.
The driver of the truck, 31-year-old Cain Osvaldo Barraza Valois of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico, was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
Backpack with seven brick-shaped marijuana-filled bundles weighing 7.9 pounds.
(Deming) – A 16-year-old girl was caught early Thursday morning trying to smuggle marijuana into the U.S. in her backpack.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized nearly eight pounds of marijuana hidden in the girl’s backpack as she attempted to enter the country as a pedestrian.
The girl, from Palomas, Mexico, was caught after an examination of her backpack revealed several brick-shaped bundles inside. Officers then removed seven marijuana-filled bundles
weighing 7.9 pounds. The teen was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents.
The seizure was the fifth marijuana bust made at the Columbus port so far this year – and the first involving a juvenile smuggler.
The four other seizures netted 257 pounds of marijuana.
(Deming) -- A 14-year-old boy was caught smuggling nearly 15-pounds of marijuana in a
back pack Wednesday morning. The juvenile smuggler was nabbed at the Columbus port of entry at about 6:30 Wednesday morning as he attempted to enter the U-S from Palomas, Mexico, as a pedestrian. A Customs and Border Protection officer examined the boy's backpack and spotted bundles commonly associated with drug smuggling. A total of 14 marijuana-filled bundles weighing 14-point-96 pounds were removed from the backpack, and the teen was turned over to the Border Area Task Force for prosecution. Port Director Robert Reza said 40-percent of the marijuana seizures made at the Columbus port of entry this year have involved smugglers age 17 or younger. On March 26th, a 16-year-old girl from Palomas was caught with over seven pounds of marijuana in her backpack.
On March 22nd, a 17-year-old Palomas boy was caught with a pound of marijuana taped to his leg.
On February 22, a 16-year-old Palomas girl was caught with nearly 15 pounds of marijuana in her car
On February 7th, a 14-year-old Palomas boy was caught with over two pounds of marijuana in his backpack.
And on January 29th, a 16-year-old Deming boy was caught with nearly 483 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle.
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Arturo Zamora, age 42, was arrested on a Municipal warrant for failure to pay fines and a 17-year-old boy was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In other juvenile news; the District Attorney's office filed petitions on a 16-year-old boy for unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises, possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also on a 17-year-old boy from Palomas, Mexico, for possession of more than eight-ounces of marijuana, on a 16-year-old girl for shoplifting, and on a 16-year-old girl for probation violations.
A horse trailer valued at a thousand dollars was stolen from a location near Coyote and Eighth Streets; $1,000 in damage occurred to a fence and roadway during the theft.
A 75-year-old man reported being the victim of fraud after his bank account was accessed without authorization.
Laurie Dominguez, age 47, was arrested for D-W-I... Kathy Chavez, age 31, was arrested for receiving stolen property... and Gregg Foster, age 44, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines.
And in juvenile news... four boys -- three age 14 and one age 15 -- were caught skipping school and smoking marijuana in an unoccupied home in Columbus.
According to a Luna County Sheriff's Department report... a neighbor heard noises coming from the home and contacted a Border Patrol agent to investigate. The agent, after discovering the teens, notified Sheriff's Corporal Jose Ojeda who was patrolling in Columbus. The three -- all Deming High School students from Palomas, Mexico -- were cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in New Mexico say they've made an unusual seizure -bundles of marijuana stashed inside wood-framed and mirrored quinceanera plaques. An 18-year-old Colorado woman has been arrested in the case. A pickup truck entered the Columbus port from neighboring Palomas, Mexico, about noon Sunday and the vehicle was selected for a secondary exam. Officers found numerous boxes filled with quinceanera decorations and noticed an anomaly in several of the plaques. CBP officers dismantled the plaques and recovered 104 pounds of marijuana wrapped in 100 thin, rectangular wrapped packages. Authorities say Tahlia Arana Perea, of Denver, was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. It was unclear Monday whether Perea has legal representation yet.