Denver Woman Faces Jail, Civil Forfeiture for Ecstasy Found at Internal US Border Patrol Checkpoint

Duane Barbati at the Alamogordo News reports:

The Otero County Sheriff's Narcotics Enforcement Unit arrested a 21-year-old Denver woman for attempting to take 58 Ecstasy pills through the U.S. Highway 54 South Border Patrol checkpoint, Sheriff Benny House said. 

House said Gabriela Avila is charged with one count of second-degree felony trafficking a controlled substance by possession with the intent to distribute and civil forfeiture (a 2004 Kia car).

Avila was jailed at the Otero County Detention Center in lieu of a $20,000 no-10 percent bond pending her appearance in court.

House said NEU agents responded to the U.S. Highway 54 South Border Patrol checkpoint in reference to Avila around 2 a.m. Dec. 2.

Upon agents; arrival, House said they learned from Border Patrol personnel that Avila, of Denver, entered the checkpoint around 10 p.m. Dec. 1 while driving a 2004 Kia with Texas plates.

He said due to Avila's nervous behavior, Border Patrol agents directed Avila to a secondary inspection area.

House said a Border Patrol K-9 unit alerted agents to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle.

"Avila had admitted to only having marijuana in the vehicle, with no other contraband being present inside the Kia," he said. "Upon further inspection of the vehicle, Border Patrol agents located a jar of peanut butter on the floorboard of the passenger seat. After further inspection, two black envelopes made of tape had been stuffed in the peanut butter of the jar. Between the two envelopes, agents found about 58 orange pills."

House said Border Patrol agents used a narcotics field test kit on the pills.

"The pills tested positive for MDMA -- or Ecstasy," he said. "Border Patrol did advise Avila of her Miranda Rights, but she agreed to speak with agents without the presence of an attorney. Avila did admit to purchasing the Ecstasy pills in El Paso and was en route to Denver with the contraband. Avila was turned over to the Otero County narcotics agents. The 2004 Kia was also seized pursuant to New Mexico forfeiture laws."




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