Las Cruces Police reopen Picacho Ave. after clearing ‘suspicious item’

This is a developing situation. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Las Cruces Police Department warned motorists to stay away from a portion of Picacho Avenue as it undertook an investigation of a suspicious item following the discovery of an explosive device in Deming.

The situation was resolved, police said, by 1:30 p.m. Monday.

There were, however, explosive devices discovered at the Luna County Magistrate Court in Deming and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Here’s what we know:

Suspicious item discovered on Picacho Ave. in Las Cruces

Las Cruces Police Department closed a portion of West Picacho Avenue between 17th Street to Motel Boulevard after an unknown item was discovered at the Adult Probation and Parole Office Monday morning.

Picacho Avenue was reopened for traffic after bomb squad personnel determined that a suspicious package near the Adult Probation and Parole Office was an empty box.

The Adult Probation and Parole Office is located at 2635 W. Picacho Avenue.

About 8:40 a.m., Las Cruces Police dispatched to the area after someone spotted an item that was described as suspicious, according to LCPD. The the area was closed out of caution. Assistance from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad was requested to assess the situation.

About 11:40 a.m., investigators determined the package was an empty box and posed no harm to the community, according to LCPD.

Explosive device found in Deming

Additionally, the Luna County Magistrate Court building in Deming is closed for the day after an explosive device was found at 920 S. Silver Street.

According to a release from the City of Deming, residents are asked to avoid the area as there is also the possibility of a second device.

Deming Public Schools have implemented heightened security measures, as a result.

New Mexico State Police announced that Interstate 10 Westbound at mile marker 85 is shut down and I-10 eastbound is shut down at mile marker 81 due to police activity. Eastbound traffic is diverted onto Pine Street and westbound traffic is diverted onto the frontage road.

Las Cruces Police say no way of knowing if two are linked

At the time of the incident Las Cruces Police said, “There is no way to determine if this callout has any definitive connection to incidents reported elsewhere in New Mexico.”

Las Cruces Police asks area residents to call police immediately if they see anything suspicious or have knowledge of threatening behavior and advise motorists who regularly travel the east-west roadway to seek an alternate route until the closure is lifted.

Suspicious device mailed to the United States Attorney’s Office

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque, a suspected explosive device was sent to the Albuquerque office on Monday.

The device was detected, isolated and then detonated by law enforcement without injury.

The FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshal’s Service are working with local law enforcement partners to investigate.

Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.

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