LAS CRUCES, NM – On December 10, 2020, at around 3:10 a.m., the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called to investigate a pursuit involving the Texas Department of Public Safety which crossed into New Mexico.
New Mexico State Police agents learned that on December 10, 2020, at around 1:47 a.m., the El Paso Texas Police Department was alerted to a burglary of a business in the 8500 block of Alameda Street in El Paso. When EPPD officers arrived on the scene, they encountered a gold Honda Accord driven by the suspect, who was identified as Luis Franco, 28, of Las Cruces, and a passenger. Officers attempted to take Franco into custody but he fled in the vehicle nearly striking an EPPD officer and a pursuit ensued. EPPD officers pursued Franco through El Paso’s lower valley, east side, and ultimately the northeast of the city. At some point during the pursuit, a Texas DPS patrol unit, occupied by two Texas state troopers, became lead in the pursuit.
Franco entered New Mexico traveling west on New Mexico State Road 404 driving erratically. At this point in the pursuit, the Texas state trooper seated in the passenger’s side of the Texas DPS patrol unit discharged his shotgun attempting to disable Franco’s vehicle. It appears the vehicle was not struck. The pursuit continued through Anthony, NM coming to an abrupt stop on Tapir Road when Franco drove into a defect in the roadway. His vehicle was heavily damaged and disabled from the impact. Franco fled on foot and hid under a nearby mobile home. The female passenger in the vehicle was apprehended and taken to an area hospital for minor injuries. She was later released.
A Texas DPS helicopter saw Franco under the mobile home. Troopers on the scene set up a perimeter around the mobile home with the assistance of the Las Cruces Police Department and New Mexico State Police who had arrived to assist in the pursuit. Franco was given commands by officers to surrender which he refused. A New Mexico State Police officer deployed his taser and subsequently placed Franco in custody.
Franco has an extensive history of encounters with law enforcement including two prior arrests by the New Mexico State Police just this year. In August 2020, Franco led New Mexico State Police officers on a pursuit into Texas and was arrested on charges relating to aggravated fleeing, resisting, and evading officers. He was arrested weeks later in September 2020 by the Las Cruces Police Department on charges related to aggravated fleeing and receiving/transferring a stolen vehicle. On December 1, 2020, Franco was again arrested just nine days prior to this incident by New Mexico State Police officers on an arrest warrant for charges relating to receiving/transferring a stolen vehicle.
This arrest by the New Mexico State Police marks Franco’s fourth known arrest in New Mexico this year. For this incident, Franco was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on felony charges of Aggravated Fleeing from a Law Enforcement Officer and misdemeanor charges of Resisting and Evading a Law Enforcement Officer 2 counts, and Concealing Identity and Reckless Driving.
This investigation remains active and is being led by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau. The identity of the Texas Trooper involved in this incident will not be released until reports are completed. For information regarding the duty status of the troopers, please contact the Texas DPS. For charges resulting from Franco’s actions in El Paso please contact EPPD. No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. Upon completion of the investigatio