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Southwest Border HIDTA
New Mexico Partnership

Mission Statement: The mission of the Southwest Border HIDTA New Mexico Partnership is to develop a synchronized system involving coordinated intelligence, interdiction, investigation and prosecution efforts to measurably reduce drug trafficking; thereby reducing the impact of illicit drugs in New Mexico and other areas of the country.

General Information:
Year of Designation: 1990
Geographic Area of Responsibility:
New Mexico: Bernalillo, Hidalgo, Grant, Luna, Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Otero, Chaves, Lincoln, San Juan, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties and all the municipalities therein.
Contact: (505) 541-7500

Threat Abstract:

The counties that comprise the New Mexico Partnership were designated in 1990 as part of the Southwest Border HIDTA. The region encompasses thirteen counties, four Ports-of Entry (POEs), and approximately 180 miles of international border shared with Mexico. Most of the New Mexico/Mexico border area is open desert, barren and generally uninhabited with innumerable roads, trails, footpaths and private ranches which offer drug smugglers easy access into the United States and to major interstate highways. The remoteness of the areas between the POEs offer favorable conditions of smuggling alternatives. The proximity to the Ciudad Juarez, Mexico/El Paso, Texas corridor threatens the region as this corridor is a major contributor to the flow of narcotics into and through this region. Drug traffickers are increasingly exploiting the NAFTA provisions, which brought about significant increases in commercial trade. Freight trains and commercial motor vehicle carriers which cross the Texas/New Mexico and Mexican borders, travel through New Mexico and are frequently utilized by major Mexican drug trafficking organizations to transport drugs into and throughout the United States.

The importation, distribution, and consumption of powder and crack cocaine are the biggest threats in the region. The availability of methamphetamine—from Mexico, California, and produced locally—is increasing rapidly. Local methamphetamine lab seizures are increasing at alarming rates. Seizures of methamphetamine produced in California have increased from one pound quantities to over one kilogram quantities per incident. Mexican marijuana is the most prevalent drug abused and the most commonly seized drug resulting from interdiction seizures. The availability of Mexican black tar heroin continues to increase throughout New Mexico; and both brown and white heroin have been encountered. Gangs facilitate much of the drug distribution that occurs at street level and are responsible for much of the drug-related violence in the region.

Strategy Abstract:

An Executive Committee comprised of 6 federal and 7 state/local law enforcement leaders in the New Mexico Partnership area allows for seamless integration and synchronization of efforts to reduce drug trafficking, eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort, systematically improve the sharing of drug intelligence, and support programs that effectively reduce the demand for illegal drugs. The goals are to reduce the transshipment of drugs transported into New Mexico by identifying the responsible organizations; reducing distribution of drugs within communities; continuing interdiction of smuggled drugs; following up investigations; and reducing the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The New Mexico Partnership coordinates 16 initiatives to build four counterdrug systems. Hundreds of representatives from 59 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are full-time participants in the New Mexico Partnership initiatives that implement the strategy including: 10 collocated multi-agency task forces with 10 sub-units; one prosecution initiative that includes two U. S. Attorney Offices and 7 District Attorney Offices; one forensic criminal laboratory; one Investigative Support Center; one Regional Coordination Center to support enforcement operations; and two administrative support initiatives. An intelligence system works through a Regional Intelligence Center to gather intelligence and analyze data. Interdiction efforts emphasize transportation systems. An investigation system employs post seizure analysis and investigation in complex cases to include money-laundering investigations. The prosecution system coordinates between the U. S. Attorney's offices and state prosecutors focusing on high profile cases in order to address the high volume of cases originating from the border region.

Investigative Support Center:

The New Mexico Investigative Support Center (NMISC) is the centerpiece of the Partnership as it provides the collocation and commingling of vital federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel and databases that are available to assist all area law enforcement agencies in counterdrug investigations and interdiction. The NMISC provides event and case deconfliction for officer safety and enhanced intelligence; strategic intelligence for refined targeting and officer resource allocation; and in-service analytical intelligence training. The NMISC provides Partnership task forces with operational analytical support for ongoing initiative driven case activity through access to criminal and commercial databases. The NMISC provides law enforcement with immediate access with "one stop shopping" to a wide range of law enforcement and commercial databases. The NMISC currently has the following databases: Internal Database System, Treasury Enforcement Communication System (TECS) II, Private Aircraft Enforcement System (PAES), Automated Commercial System (ACS), National Criminal Information Center (NCIC), National Law Enforcement Teletype System (NLETS), INS Central Index System (CIS), Commercial Drivers License Information System (CDLIS), New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Departments Customer Information Control System (CICS), Inspection Selection System (ISS), DEA Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System (NADDIS), New Mexico Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), FBI Field Office Information Management System (FOIMS), AutoTrack, PhoneDisk, Internet, Information America, Texas Household Drivers Report (HDR), and Albuquerque PD Computer Offense Program System (ACOPS).The Southwest Border HIDTA New Mexico Threat Assessment requires quarterly reporting so that resources and direction can be reevaluated among the initiatives.

Initiatives that were approved to implement the 2000 Southwest Border HIDTA New Mexico Partnership Strategy include:

  1. New Mexico Border Operations Task Force—three multi-agency task forces located in separate cities to systematically target, investigate and prosecute drug traffickers and money launderers, utilizing intelligence, investigation, and interdictions—targeting ports-of-entries, Border Patrol check points, and land border areas.
  2. New Mexico DEA HIDTA Task Force—two multi-agency task forces, in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, who focus on interdiction and investigation of major, secondary, and local drug trafficking organizations impacting New Mexico and other areas in the United States.
  3. New Mexico Department of Public Safety Interdiction Initiative—members from New Mexico's Department of Public Safety, State Police, and Motor Transportation Divisions are assigned to ten Partnership initiatives to effectively coordinate and plan interdiction activities and share information and intelligence throughout the region.
  4. New Mexico Enhanced Line Watch Operations—several federal, state, and local agencies are brought together for temporary specific operations along the border, focusing on gangs involved with the interdiction of narcotics, weapons, and drug-proceeds trafficked through southern New Mexico.
  5. New Mexico HIDTA Management & Coordination—The New Mexico Director's Office conducts the day-to-day business of HIDTA on behalf of the New Mexico Executive Committee and the Initiatives and meets all requested actions, including those initiated by the Southwest Border HIDTA and ONDCP.
  6. New Mexico Intelligence Support Center—supports the interdiction, investigation and prosecution initiatives of the Partnership by providing a clearinghouse for collection of intelligence, conducting post-seizure analysis, providing operational and investigative deconfliction, and analytical case support.
  7. New Mexico Regional Coordination Center—provides a base of operations to coordinate joint law enforcement drug interdiction and special operations along the New Mexico/Mexico border.
  8. Operation Up-The-Ladder—a collocated, multi-agency task force and full-time District Attorneys working together focusing on disrupting cross-border drug smuggling through interdiction, targeting management-level members of drug trafficking organizations, and asset seizures.
  9. Region I Multi-Agency Task Force—a collocated, multi-agency task force that focuses on disrupting and dismantling all levels of drug smuggling, trafficking and money laundering organizations through investigation, interdiction, and dismantlement of methamphetamine labs.
  10. Region II HIDTA Narcotics Task Force—a collocated, multi-agency task force that focuses on disrupting and dismantling all levels of drug smuggling, trafficking and money laundering organizations through investigation, interdiction, and dismantlement of methamphetamine labs.
  11. Region III Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force—a collocated, multi-agency task force that focuses on disrupting and dismantling all levels of drug smuggling, trafficking and money laundering organizations through investigation, interdiction, and dismantlement of methamphetamine labs.
  12. Region VI Multi-Agency Task Force—collocated, multi-agency task forces in five areas—Otero, Lea, Lincoln, Eddy, and Chaves counties, who interdict bulk quantities of illicit drugs smuggled into the country from Mexico; and identify and dismantle pipeline organizations and major narcotics suppliers and distributors at the border. A Cooperative comprised of heads of local agencies and a Coordinator work closely to unify effort.
  13. Regional Interagency Drug Task Force—a collocated, multi-agency task force that conducts interdictions and investigations targeting local and international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations in Dona Ana County - the direct corridor used for the movement of drugs from the Juarez/El Paso area through New Mexico; and methamphetamine manufacturing and distributing organizations in the region.
  14. Southern Crime Laboratory—provides timely forensic drug analysis on controlled substances seized in the region.
  15. Southern New Mexico HIDTA Law Enforcement Center—allows a number of New Mexico HIDTA entities, including but not necessarily limited to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Southern Crime Laboratory, New Mexico Investigative Support Center, Regional Interagency Drug Task Force and New Mexico Director's Office, to collocate and conduct activities in accordance to the National Drug Strategy. This Initiative provides funding for expenses incurred at the Center in order to continue facility operations.
  16. Southwestern New Mexico Task Force—a collocated, multi-agency task force that conducts long term investigations targeting regional, national and international drug trafficking organizations that operate in Luna, Hidalgo, and Grant counties; and follow-up on cases resulting from U. S. Border Patrol and New Mexico State Police interdiction efforts.

Outcomes:

The value added by the HIDTA to law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in New Mexico includes, but is not limited to, the following: allowed LEAs to enhance resources to effectively increase drug enforcement activities; increased activities have resulted in reduced availability of drugs in New Mexico; increased operational coordination, planning and intelligence and information sharing among LEAs increased the amount of all drugs seized from transshipments into and through New Mexico; established, for the first time in New Mexico, a Criminal Justice Intelligence System to network and facilitate intelligence and information sharing; allowed the NMISC to provide support to LEAs relating to both federal and state/local intelligence and information; established event and case deconfliction systems to increase officer safety and intelligence, for the first time in New Mexico; provided law enforcement related computer and language training at little or no cost to the LEAs; and significantly improved the quality of life and public safety for the citizens of New Mexico.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Amtrak Police Department, Department of Defense Joint Task Force Six, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, United States Attorney's Office, United States Border Patrol, and United States Customs Service

State: New Mexico Department of Corrections and Parole, New Mexico Department of Public Safety and New Mexico National Guard

Local: Albuquerque Police Department, Alamogordo Department of Public Safety, Artesia Police Department, Aztec Police Department, Belen Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, Bernalillo Police Department, Bloomfield Police Department, Carlsbad Police Department, Corrales Police Department, Deming Police Department, District Attorney's Offices of the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh and Twelfth Judicial Districts, Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, Eddy County Sheriff's Department, Espanola Police Department, Eunice Police Department, Farmington Police Department, Grant County Sheriff's Department, Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department, Hobbs Police Department, Jal Police Department, Las Cruces Police Department, Lea County Sheriff's Department, Los Alamos Police Department, Los Lunas Police Department, Lovington Police Department, Luna County Sheriff's Department, Otero County Sheriff's Department, Questa Police Department, Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Department, Rio Rancho Police Department, Sandoval County Sheriff's Department, San Juan County Sheriff's Department, Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department, Santa Fe Police Department, Silver City Police Department, Taos Police Department, Taos Police Department, Tatum Police Department, Torrance County Sheriff's Department, University of New Mexico Police Department, and Valencia County Sheriff's Department

Information is provided by the Southwest Border HIDTA New Mexico Partnership.

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