The state’s national laboratories, vast reservations, public lands and 180 miles of border with Mexico together create a unique landscape for the federal agency.
They also come with a wide-ranging mandate on the New Mexico division now overseen by Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade, who was appointed to the position in December. Counterterrorism programs remain the agency’s number one priority across the country, including in New Mexico. Meanwhile, the agency has also launched a renewed push this year to combat opioid abuse, which remains an especially tough problem in New Mexico, where the overdose death rates are among the nation’s highest.
Still, investigations on both of those fronts and others depend on cooperation from local and tribal authorities and other federal agencies, said Wade, who circled back several times in a recent interview with The Associated Press to how building partnerships has been one of his most critical tasks since he was appointed to his new position in December.