Border Patrol Agents Seize $325K Worth Of Marijuana
POSTED: Friday, January 27, 2012 - 5:44pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 27, 2012 - 5:48pm
SANTA TERESA – Approximately 407 pounds of marijuana were seized on two separate incidents valued at $325,600.
Thursday evening, agents working in the Santa Teresa area observed a vehicle and two subjects just north of the international border fence east of the Columbus Port of Entry. The vehicle abruptly sped off and within minutes, agents were able to conduct a vehicle stop on a gold Dodge sedan on Highway 9. Three large burlap bundles containing marijuana were discovered in the backseat of the vehicle. Total weight of the marijuana was approximately 243 lbs. The driver, 19-year old Melissa Vargas Otero, and 18-year old Jason Nathaniel Harrison were arrested. Both were United States citizens.
In a separate incident at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway 26 northeast of Deming, New Mexico, Border Patrol Agents referred the driver of a tan GMC Pickup to secondary inspection after the driver provided inconsistent statements. Further inspection of the vehicle revealed an after market metal container inside the gas tank. Two bundles of marijuana with a total weight of approximately 164 lbs. were discovered in the gas tank. The sole occupant of the vehicle, 58-year old Leonel Romero Lechuga, a Mexican National, was arrested.
The subjects and narcotics in both incidents were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Las Cruces for prosecution.