Deming, New Mexico - U.S. Border Patrol Agents on patrol in Luna County, N.M. apprehended a total of five subjects yesterday, including a convicted sexual offender.
On Tuesday, Agents from the Deming Station were patrolling an area east of Columbus, N.M. when they were alerted to five subjects who crossed the international boundary from Mexico. The area is a known illegal immigrant and drug smuggling corridor. Agents initially tracked and detained one of the subjects, a female from El Salvador who admitted to having crossed illegally into the U.S. Agents continued to follow the other sets of footprints, but feared the four remaining subjects had likely been picked up by a vehicle on N.M. Hwy 9.
A short time later, another Agent west of the initial arrest location, observed a Dodge pickup truck traveling west on Hwy 9, away from the U.S./Mexico border. Agents activated their emergency equipment and attempted to conduct an immigration stop on the truck. Unfortunately, the truck sped up in an attempt to evade Agents. As the truck neared a populated area, Agents made the decision to discontinue the pursuit.
A search ensued of the area where the truck was last seen. Agents located fresh footprints near an intersection which led them straight into a pecan orchard. Agents followed the footprints and located four subjects attempting to hide among the trees. In total, five subjects were arrested and transported to the Deming Border Patrol Station for processing.
During processing it was discovered that 34-year-old Mexican national, Juan Antonio Canales Martinez, had a prior conviction for “Sex with a Minor" in California, along with other criminal charges. Canales Martinez is being held at the Luna County Detention Center pending criminal prosecution.
This incident demonstrates how vigilance and persistence by U.S. Border Patrol Agents, along with the ability to rapidly respond, is helping prevent dangerous criminals from crossing the border and reaching communities along the southwest border.