Friday, May 21, 2010

Officials say drug, immigrant smuggling surging at NM border

Drug and illegal immigrant smuggling is surging in New Mexico's Bootheel, according to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department. Eyewitness News 4 tagged along with deputies in Southwestern New Mexico to see the trend for ourselves. Investigators say they found $100,000 worth of marijuana on Wednesday in the trunk of a car, after the driver refused to show his photo identification or vehicle registration. Officials said a suspected illegal immigrant who had been deported 10 times was behind the wheel. Deputies also executed a search warrant on a suspicious truck that had been pulled over Wednesday night. Officials said about $50,000 worth of marijuana was stashed in the gas tank. The license plate appeared to be from Chihuahua, Mexico. The driver, who officials say had a US Visa, told deputies he was on his way to Albuquerque. "We get a lot of marijuana and alien smuggling loads going toward Albuquerque. We get a lot of vehicles registered out of Los Lunas, Belen and Albuquerque," Cpl. Gary Lassiter of the Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Here is the KOB-TV video report:

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