FORT HANCOCK, TX – The U.S. Border Patrol arrested three men as they allegedly tried to smuggle 68 pounds of marijuana across the Rio Grande just east of El Paso February 27. The men were arrested after they were seen trying to walk across the river, U.S. Border Patrol said in a news release.

“When agents confronted the suspects they noted that all three were carrying backpacks of what appeared to be illegal drugs. The three illegal aliens were taken into custody and the drugs seized. All were transported to the Fort Hancock Station for further processing,” Border Patrol added.

The contents of the backpacks tested positive for marijuana. After fingerprinting, one of the men was identified as 55-year-old Marin Gonzales of Mexico who had an extensive criminal history, Border Patrol added.

Gonzales was once a lawfully admitted permanent resident in the United States but was deported due to his convictions for aggravated assault against a household member (fourth-degree felony), battery against a household member, battery upon a peace officer, inflicting corporal punishment on the spouse, and possession of a controlled narcotic, Border Patrol said.

“Gonzales has been turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further prosecution. Another of the three subjects was found to be a minor and will be turned over to Mexican authorities,” Border Patrol said.