Heroin Seized At New Mexico Checkpoint, Jury Indicts 62-Year-Old In Rape Of Teen Girl

Jun 23, 2018

Border Patrol: Heroin Seized At New Mexico Checkpoint– Associated Press

The U.S. Border Patrol says its agents have seized more than $1 million in heroin at an immigration checkpoint in New Mexico.

The agency says authorities conducting an inspection at the checkpoint on New Mexico Highway 70 found the drugs Thursday in a black Honda that was being transported across the border on a tractor-trailer with other cars.

They say the Honda stood out because it was not in good condition, unlike the other vehicles. A canine also alerted agents to the vehicle.

In a statement, the Border Patrol said the heroin was wrapped in a bundle, along with a couple kilograms of cocaine.

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Fidel Baca said the driver would not be facing criminal prosecution in the case.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Grand Jury Indicts 62-Year-Old In 2015 Rape Of Teen Girl – Associated Press

A man has been indicted on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl three years ago at the state fairgrounds in Albuquerque.

Court records show 62-year-old Francisco Espinoza was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on multiple charges including criminal sexual penetration of a minor, distributing a controlled substance to a minor, and child abuse.

James Hallinan, a spokesman for the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, says Espinoza allegedly drugged and raped the teenager in October 2015 after offering her a ride and taking her to a trailer at the fairgrounds.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office cited a conflict in the case. As a result, the attorney general's office is now prosecuting it.

An attorney for Espinoza could not immediately be reached late Friday.

Immigration Debate Stirs Campaigns For New Mexico Governor– Associated Press

The campaign for New Mexico governor is playing out on Capitol Hill, where competing candidates are engaged in the national immigration debate as members of Congress.

Republican Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce voted Thursday for an unsuccessful bill that would have curbed legal immigration and bolstered border security.

His rival in the governor race, Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, unsuccessfully sought an amendment to grant a pathway to citizenship to "Dreamers" who arrived in the country illegally as children.

Pearce accuses Lujan Grisham of obstruction and says he hopes to be able to support a compromise bill in a vote scheduled for next week.

The stakes for immigration legislation have grown as President Trump reversed a decision to separate children from families who cross into the U.S. illegally.

New Mexico Governor Travels To Taiwan – Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is traveling to Taiwan for a week at the expense of Taiwan's foreign affairs ministry.

Martinez spokesman Ben Cloutier said in an email that the governor departed Thursday and will return June 30.

In a statement, the governor's office says travel expenses are being paid for by Taiwan.

The purpose of the trip was unclear, with no immediate response to requests for more information.