A state government employee is in federal custody after his arrest Wednesday on a drug charge. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents are investigating the case.
Saul Velasco, 37, of Alamogordo, N.M., is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was arrested Sept. 26 at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol checkpoint on U.S. Highway 70 west of Alamogordo.
According to court documents, Border Patrol agents found 9.7 pounds of marijuana in the state government vehicle Velasco was driving. As New Mexico juvenile probation officer, Velasco was on official duty when he was arrested.
There were 10 bundles of marijuana in a gym bag inside Velasco’s vehicle, according to court documents. He allegedly paid $2,500 for the nearly 10 pounds of marijuana from a man whom he met near a restaurant on U.S. Highway 54, north of El Paso, Texas.
Velasco had his initial appearance in federal court Thursday in Las Cruces and was scheduled to have a preliminary and detention hearing Friday. HSI special agents assigned to the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) in Las Cruces continue to investigate the case.