Cartels Booming in New Mexico
Alamogordo, population 32,000, lies 90 miles north of the Mexican border, yet it finds itself on the front lines of today's border crisis.
The New York Post reports:
Otero County last month became the first border community to declare a state of emergency after the federal government shut down two local checkpoints in the area, which had traditionally provided a second line of defense against shipments of drugs and illegal immigrants who managed to sneak through the border at El Paso, about 90 miles to the south.
“It’s a green light for the cartels when border checkpoints are down,” Otero County Sheriff David Black, 56, told The Post.
Now the lawman said he has to deploy his own overworked forces to stop drugs such as methamphetamines, marijuana and fentanyl from coming through his territory, which is home to some 65,000 people.
Otero County is undefended because US Customs and Border Protection shut down two inspection facilities on US Routes 54 and 70, Black said. The Border Protection agents were sent south to El Paso to help with the massive influx of migrants. More than 800 have been arriving per day at the border near El Paso, according to Border Protection statistics.
Last month, Black's agents seized $60,000 in illicit drugs – up from $3,500 in January, when checkpoints manned by Border Patrol were still active.
The Juarez Cartel has the largest presence in New Mexico.