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Senator Crystal Brantley Applauds District Attorney’s Effort to Prosecute Border Crimes

Third Judicial District Attorney Gerald Byers, federal authorities reach agreement to apply state charges for criminal activity at the border

LAS CRUCES—This week, it was reported that Third Judicial District Attorney Gerald Byers has reached an agreement with federal authorities to seek state charges for criminal activities encountered by border agents at New Mexico’s southern border. According to a press release from the District Attorney’s Office, the agreement between DA Byers and the El Paso Sector of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “seeks to increase the safety and security of Doña Ana County” and “support local border communities to effectively target and address violent crime.”


Senator Crystal Brantley (R-Elephant Butte), who represents a portion of southern Doña Ana County along the U.S.-Mexico border, released the following statement applauding the agreement:


“I commend DA Byers and CBP for taking action to combat illegal activity at our southern border. As a border Senator, I am well aware of the crime spilling into my communities and the impact it’s having on our security and resources. In the absence of leadership from the federal government and the state executive, local officials must band together and come up with solutions to prioritize public safety and protect our citizens. This agreement is a significant step in that direction and I urge other district attorneys to consider following DA Byers lead on this matter.”


The press release notes that the border communities of Sunland Park, Santa Teresa, and Anapra have experienced the heaviest trafficking and undocumented immigrant crossings in the southwest. Crimes that will be prioritized under this agreement include aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, breaking and entering, harboring a felon, extortion, human trafficking, and other violent offenses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will retain first right of refusal for all cases presented by CBP. Cases that are not accepted for federal prosecution may then be presented to the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office for appropriate state charges.


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