|U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents working in New Mexico made significant narcotics seizures this week by seizing more than 400 pounds of marijuana and 43 pounds of cocaine through a combination of traffic checkpoint operations and routine patrol efforts. The total value of the contraband was valued at over $1.7 million.
The largest seizure of marijuana was made Wednesday by Border Patrol agents at the I-25 traffic checkpoint. After the occupants of a late model GMC truck granted agents consent to search the truck they discovered a total of 291 pounds of marijuana in numerous hidden compartments. Members of the "Raven Unit" of the NMNG were called up to dismantle the after-market compartments located in the gas tank, rear cab wall, and metal tire rims. The total value of the marijuana is $233,000.
In a separate incident, another seizure was made by Border Patrol agents who were on patrol near Hatch, N.M. Agents spotted a minivan attempting to circumvent the Border Patrol traffic checkpoint on I-25. When agents caught up to and performed a vehicle stop, they were granted permission to search the vehicle. Utilizing the assistance of a CBP canine, they discovered 19 bundles of cocaine wrapped in cellophane and brown packaging tape that was hidden in another after-market compartment behind the dashboard of the van. The cocaine weighed 43.16 pounds, and is valued at more than $1.3 million.
The narcotics, vehicles and four occupants were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration in Las Cruces. The New Mexico National Guards' Raven Unit has provided support for the U.S. Border Patrol since 1995. This unit has specialized tools, training, and equipment to safely and efficiently dismantle compartments where narcotics are hidden.