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El Paso plane seized, searched at Santa Teresa airport in Homeland Security probe

The turboprop seen flying in the upper portion of this image from Flight Aware is the plane under investigation by federal authorities.
Flight Aware
The turboprop seen flying in the upper portion of this image from Flight Aware is the plane under investigation by federal authorities.

SANTA TERESA, New Mexico -- A small private plane apparently controlled by two El Pasoans was seized at the Santa Teresa airport as part of a U.S. Homeland Security investigation, ABC-7 has learned.

The 1981 Cessna 425 Conquest twin-turboprop, which can carry up to a dozen people, had been confiscated and searched earlier this month at an airport hangar by federal agents.

Flight-tracking data from the firm Flight Aware indicated that shortly before its seizure, the plane took off from El Paso, flew along the Mexico border and then landed in Santa Teresa.

The seized plane's tail number reflected it is owned by RF Logistics Inc., which lists an Airport Road address in Santa Teresa, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's aircraft registry database.

Business registration records maintained by the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office showed the corporation was formed seven years ago to "serve as a holding company for the acquisition and maintenance of an airplane."

The state database reflects two El Paso men, Eduardo Rodriguez and Roberto Fernandez-Reyes, serve as the only officers and directors of RF Logistics Inc.; neither man could be reached for comment as the only contact information listed is a mailing address.

A federal official confirmed the aircraft's confiscation as part of a continuing probe, but declined to go into further details.

“The aircraft was administratively seized for a registration violation as part of an ongoing case being jointly investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations. At this time there is nothing more we can offer,” said Roger Maier, a CBP spokesman.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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