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.