Truck full of undocumented immigrants crashes in southern NM ranch


DEMING, N.M. (KRQE) ⁠— While some were at church or watching football Sunday morning, a southern New Mexico rancher was dealing with what he calls a security crisis: Border Patrol agents chasing a truckload full of undocumetned immigrants through his property.

Russell Johnson said this is becoming way too common an occurrence on his ranch along the U.S.-Mexico border. Johnson got a call from Border Patrol agents that a truck crashed through his fence trying to transport migrants into the United States.

“I immediately loaded up, got some fencing materials, because they did inform me that this vehicle did cross our ranch, and usually when that happens they are crossing through the barbed wire portion,” Russell said.

Border agents chased the truck after the driver ran over spike strips and through another fence. The driver then drove through the desert before crashing into a wash.

Ten people were crammed into the pickup. Several were injured because there were too many to buckle up. Four people were hospitalized with serious injuries, including broken bones and one who had a lacerated liver.

“We all experience these problems because of a lack of an adequate barrier,” said Johnson.

Johnson says five times in the last two months, undocumented immigrants have crossed in that exact spot, and 20 times in the last two years.

“With all this illegal traffic coming through, my first concern is always going to be my family. But then secondly, it’s going to be my business. Whenever these fences go down due to a drive-through, that’s potential for my livestock to go into Mexico,” Russell said.

Johnson says of the eight miles of border fence on his property, three miles of it is a basic barbed wire fence that he is responsible for fixing when it is destroyed like this.

The driver of the truck was charged with transporting illegal aliens.

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The mission of is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.