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ICE arrests two Mexican nationals in US illegally

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Federal agents arrested two Mexican nationals in the United States illegally March 21, after Chaves County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene of a cockfighting ring south of Roswell.

A spokesperson with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Wednesday officers with the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested Luis Armando Gutierrez-Martinez, 43, and Manuel Dominguez-Quintana, 40, on March 21.

Gutierrez-Martinez entered the U.S. at an unknown date and location. He had been voluntarily returned to his native Mexico on two prior occasions: once in 2000 and a second time in 2003, according to a statement from ICE.

He was arrested and convicted on two criminal counts in Texas: once in 2002 on a count of driving while intoxicated and in 2006 for driving while under the influence of liquor. An immigration judge on June 20, 2011, issued him a final order of removal. Two days, he was removed through Laredo, Texas.

According to the statement, Gutierrez-Martinez was issued a Notice of Intent Decision to reinstate a prior order of removal.

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Dominguez-Quintana was admitted to the U.S. Aug. 12, 2016 in Presidio, Texas as a temporary non-immigrant for pleasure. He subsequently violated the terms of his admission by overstaying his temporary visa status and remaining in the U.S. without authorization, according to the statement.

Following his arrest March 21, he was issued a notice to appear. According to the statement, Dominguez-Quintana has since been released on his own recognizance and placed on alternative to detention with a GPS monitor. His case is now pending immigration proceedings before a federal immigration judge.

Charles Yslas, chief deputy with the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, did confirm deputies responded March 21 at 8:20 p.m. to a report of illegal cockfighting activity on property in the 100 block of West Darby Road.

When they arrived on the scene, deputies encountered 50 to 60 vehicles. After obtaining consent from the owner of the property to inspect the premises, deputies discovered evidence of cockfighting activity.

No one else was arrested other than the two Mexican nationals, but Yslas said 80 individuals were at the scene, including seven juveniles.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, Yslas said. He added that following the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the Chaves County District Attorney’s office for prosecution.

Cockfighting and dogfighting are both illegal in New Mexico, and Yslas warned local authorities will enforce the laws against them.

“At this time, we are just making it perfectly clear that we do not condone this type of behavior in any fashion at all,” he said.

People with information about possible instances of cockfighting, Yslas said, are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 575-624-6500, or Chaves County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-594-TIPS.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.