Mark Reagan, Staff Writer
A woman is facing federal drug charges after crashing into a Border Patrol vehicle with a van full of more than 500 pounds of marijuana.
Nancy Yadira Ortiz is charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute approximately 553 pounds of marijuana and conspiracy to do the same, court records show.
According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 9:30 a.m. Friday Ortiz attempted to avoid Border Patrol agents while driving north on Calle Milpa Verde near Monsees Road when authorities say she accelerated to avoid agents, but lost control and swerved into the southbound lane hitting and causing significant damage to a Border Patrol vehicle before hitting a mesquite tree.
The area, which is near the Rio Grande, is a known drug smuggling corridor, authorities said in court documents.
Border Patrol agents tried to apprehend Ortiz after seeing a white minivan traveling north from the river at a high-rate of speed and the collision occurred when agents approached Ortiz from several directions, according to the criminal complaint.
Federal authorities then arrested Ortiz and a juvenile passenger they say was involved in smuggling seven bundles of marijuana, court documents indicate.
Ortiz is being held without bond pending probable cause and detention hearings scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan, court records show.