- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 21, 2009

EL PASO, Texas (AP) | U.S. Border Patrol agents shot a suspected drug smuggler in the New Mexico desert after the man ran over an officer with a pickup truck, officials said Friday.

Doug Mosier, a Border Patrol spokesman in El Paso, said agents were trying to stop the truck on a desert road Thursday night when one of them was hit. At least one other agent opened fire, hitting the driver.

The driver then crashed the truck about 25 miles west of the border crossing at Santa Teresa, Mr. Mosier said. The driver and the agent were both taken to a hospital in El Paso.

Mr. Mosier said the agent suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, and no details on the driver’s condition were available Friday.

Another agent, Luis Aguilar, was run over and killed last year while trying to stop a vehicle driven by a suspected drug smuggler from Mexico.

Agents found inside the truck a large quantity of what they suspect to be marijuana, Mr. Mosier said.

The truck was believed to have crossed the border along a patch of rough desert, but Mr. Mosier said it was unclear exactly where the driver crossed since the area has about 48 miles of vehicle and pedestrian fencing.

Todd Hulsey, an FBI spokesman in Albuquerque, said the bureau’s field office in Las Cruces, N.M., was writing an affidavit for a federal arrest warrant charging the driver with assaulting a federal officer and drug trafficking.

He said federal agents were investigating the alleged assault.

The FBI does not know who the driver is because he carried no identification, but believes he is a Mexican national, Mr. Hulsey said.

The truck contained 1,500 pounds of marijuana, wrapped in 25-pound bundles that filled the interior of the pickup “so that only one human being could fit inside of it,” he said.

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