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NMSP Traffic Stop Leads to Undocumented "Stash House"

The people that were found inside the house while NMSP was executing a search warrant.
NMSP Press Release from Officer Wilson Silver
The people that were found inside the house while NMSP was executing a search warrant.

New Mexico State Police officers arrested two individuals in connection with hiding undocumented people at a residence.

On March 12, 2024, an NMSP officer made a traffic stop on Interstate 10 west of Las Cruces on a white Chevy SUV.

The officer felt the occupants were displaying signs of nervous behavior and were making inconsistent statements.

The officer asked the driver, Albert Torres, 40, to exit the vehicle due to not having a driver’s license.

The officer observed drug paraphernalia fall from the lap of Torres as he exited the vehicle.

He was then detained.

The female passenger Victoria Cabrales, 37, was asked to exit the vehicle as well due to the suspicious behavior of reaching under her seat.

During the search of Torres, the officer located suspected methamphetamine on him.

Torres was also found to be a convicted felon.

Cabrales wanted to return to the vehicle to get her phone.

The officer walked back to the vehicle with her and that’s when the officer observed a handgun between the center console and the passenger seat.

The officer called in The firearm and found it was reported stolen.

Cabrales was detained.

Torres and Cabrales told the officer there was food in the vehicle they were taking to a residence in Las Cruces.

They told the officer the people in this residence were undocumented and would not answer the door because the house was a “stash house” for undocumented people.

They also said there may be more firearms in the residence as well.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle and for the residence.

The vehicle search revealed two firearms and more methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

The search of the residence revealed 16 undocumented people locked in a room with no food, water, or communication device.

The United States Border Patrol was contacted to take custody of the people found in the residence.

Both Torres and Cabrales were transported to the Dona Ana County Detention Center for their charges; that include, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, attempt to commit a felony, receipt and transportation or possession of a firearm.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.