State Briefs

September 7, 2013 • State News

Kirtland Air Force to set coyote traps
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Kirtland Air Force Base is clamping down on coyotes.

[auth] KOAT-TV reports that the Civil Engineer Squadron is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set up live traps around residential areas.

Officials say the move is needed because of a surge in coyotes preying on family pets.

Once caught, officials say the coyotes will be taken away by wildlife services.

Alex Perea, who works at the Kirtland Air Force Credit Union, says coyotes are hunting for jackrabbits around the base both at night and during the day.

Sandoval County jail faces broken cell locks
BERNALILLO (AP) — Broken cell locks are forcing the troubled Sandoval County Detention Center to lose potential income.

KOAT-TV reports that 37 jail cells that are out of commission at the county jail. The cells with broken locks are a part of the detention center that was built in the 1980s.

Lawmakers just approved getting them fixed and upgraded, and the locks will cost about $300,000.

The broken locks are just the latest in a string of setbacks for the Sandoval County jail.

Last year, the U.S. Marshals District of New Mexico removed 190 federal prisoners from the Sandoval County Detention Center after three inmates committed suicide.

Sheriff: Torrance County facing deputy shortage
ESTANCIA (AP) — A sheriff in a rural New Mexico county says a deputy shortage and an influx of crime is making it difficult to patrol his area.

KRQE-TV reports that Torrance County Sheriff Heath White says his department is down to eight deputies. He should have 24 to cover his 3,366 square miles of coverage in central New Mexico.

White says he expecting to lose at least two deputies and possibly more in the coming months due to burn out.

With so few deputies right now, the department is forced to prioritize which calls deputies can take and which ones are going to have to wait.

He says New Mexico State Police and other agencies help when they can but may not get there quickly when they’re needed.

Feds: Man tried to enter US via red chile shipment
COLUMBUS (AP) — Authorities say an immigrant suspected of entering the country illegally attempted to make his journey in an unusual but hot place — a shipment of red chile.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at a New Mexico border checkpoint said the man was discovered Thursday face down among a commercial load of the spicy stuff.

Columbus Port Director Robert Reza says next to the “highly intoxicated” 35-year-old was a bottle of tequila.

The man, who authorities described as a Mexican national, told agents that he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico hoping to catch a ride to Chicago.
But agents said he got less than 100 yards into New Mexico before he was discovered.

The red chile shipment was later released.

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