Hatch Border Patrol bust nets meth, stolen gun
POSTED: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 2:32pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 9:06pm
Agents: Small children were in same vehicle; driver wanted on warrant from ABQ
Hatch, NM (KTSM) — Border Patrol Agents working near Hatch (NM) arrest a man after meth and guns are found in the vehicle he's driving.
Early Monday morning Border Patrol Agents working a checkpoint on Highway 26 near Hatch, stopped a vehicle with four passengers, two adults and two children.
According to CBP officials, during questioning they discovered that the vehicle was a rental and other responses by the driver led to agents referring the vehicle for further inspection.
Agents then used a K9 to sniff around the vehicle, who then alerted the agents to the presence of narcotics.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, an empty gun holster was discovered along with methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. A more in-depth search led to the discovery of two handguns, one of which was reported stolen.
Agents took both adults and the two children to the Las Cruces I-25 Checkpoint for further processing. There agents performed record checks on the two adults.
As a result of the checks officials say that the driver, identified as Rafael Lopez , had a criminal record and active arrest warrant out of Albuquerque, N.M., for Aggravated Assault with a gun of a non-family member.
New Mexico State Police took custody of Lopez,as well as the mother of the children for possible charges of child endangerment. Homeland Security Investigations was also contacted and they took custody of the narcotics and the weapons.
CBP officials add, "These types of encounters continue to show the importance of having a defense in depth approach to border security and the vital role that checkpoints serve in combating criminal activity."