The New Mexico State Land Office is going after a West Texas county after it was learned that loads of dirt, sand and gravel were disappearing from a parcel of state trust land along the border.
Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says an investigation found that Hudspeth County crews have been using material from the site for road improvements. Mining at the site appears to have started a few years ago.
He says the dirt bandits have been using a dusty byway from Hudspeth County to access the site in southern New Mexico.
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The State Land Office has owned the mineral and surface rights on the property since 1958, so Dunn is asking Hudspeth County that all mining stop until New Mexico is compensated for the resources that have been taken and a mining lease is issued.