Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AZMEX UPDATE 24-5-16

AZMEX UPDATE 24 MAY 2016



Arizona sheriff warns Memorial Day travelers of Mexican cartel assassins
KTAR.COM | May 24, 2016 @ 5:40 am

http://ktar.com/story/1085817/arizona-sheriff-warns-memorial-day-travelers-of-mexican-cartel-assassins/

(Pinal County Sheriff's Office Photos)
PHOENIX — An Arizona sheriff is warning Memorial Day travelers about the dangers posed by professional assassins hired by the Mexican drug cartels.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said in a Monday release it was informed the cartels are likely sending the assassins — referred to as "sicarios" — to take out crews who are attempting to steal drug shipments from the cartels in smuggling corridors.

"We are taking this threat seriously and believe that the public and my deputies deserve to know that there is an elevated risk of encountering gun violence in certain areas of Pinal County," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a press release.

Babeu went on to say he is concerned that potential violence between the assassins and those looking to steal drugs could harm "innocent Americans and my deputies."

Babeu said people who choose to celebrate Memorial Day in Pinal County's western deserts should be armed in the instance they come across smugglers or sicarios.

PCSO said it has received reports of multiple shootouts between rival gangs south of its jurisdiction. It also said it arrested 21 cartel scouts and numerous smugglers last year.

The agency add that the last time it received similar information about a brewing feud in Pinal County, it found two dead cartel scouts on a mountain top.

end





Documents: Somali citizen tried to run over border agents in southern Arizona
Katie Conner
7:21 AM, May 23, 2016
48 mins ago
southern arizona

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-central-southern-az/other/documents-somali-citizen-tried-to-run-over-border-agents-in-southern-arizona

A Somali citizen tried to run over Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona after a high speed pursuit, according to federal investigators.

In April, investigators say Ahmed Elni Abdalla drove up to a checkpoint near Amado. When agents approached Abdalla's car, he drove through the stop sign and tried to get away at a "high rate of speed".

The high-speed pursuit continued up to Green Valley where agents were able to box in Abdalla's car.

However, Abdalla allegedly refused to get out. When agents tried to break his car window, Abdalla drove right at agents who had to "jump out of the way in order to avoid being hit," according to federal paperwork.

In December, another Somali citizen was detained by Border Patrol agents. Investigators say Omar Haji Mohamed was paid to help sneak people across the U.S. Border.

END

Also: http://www.abc15.com/news/state/somali-citizen-paid-to-help-sneak-people-across-us-border

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

AZMEX SPECIAL 10-5-16

AZMEX SPECIAL 10 MAY 2016


Eye on border security: Panel address issues during congressional hearing
By David Rookhuyzen drookhuyzen@gvnews.com 4 hrs ago 0
David Rookhuyzen | Green Valley News

http://www.douglasdispatch.com/news/eye-on-border-security-panel-address-issues-during-congressional-hearing/article_2d0bdb78-16ed-11e6-a8ee-a79b0330e5d8.html

Art Del Cueto (right), president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544, speaks as part of a panel on a Congressional field hearing on border security Monday in Sahuarita with Douglas Mayor Danny Ortega (middle) and Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels.

Eye on border security
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally speaks with Nogales businessman Jaime Chamberlain (left) and Cochise County rancher Frank Krentz following a congressional hearing on border security held in Sahuarita on Monday.
The system is broken and no one knows quite how to fix it. But for now, the best solution is to get all possible ideas on the record.

That's the take-away Monday from a congressional field hearing on securing Arizona's southern border led by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally in Sahuarita. The three-hour hearing of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Safety, held in the town council chamber, consisted of one panel made up of law enforcement and elected officials and another of border residents and businesses.

Each panel member read a prepared statement and took questions from McSally and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico, whose district borders Arizona. Both are Republicans.


McSally said she was holding the hearing because of a disconnect on the issues between policymakers and people who live along the border. All the testimony from Monday was now on the Congressional record for her colleagues to review when making decisions on border security.
"Our intent was to bring Washington to Southern Arizona and bring perspective," she said.

Some of the topics from Monday:

Secure the border

Art Del Cueto, president of National Border Patrol Council Local 2544, said the agency is down roughly 5,000 agents from where it should be for its mission. The last time the number of agents was increased significantly, many were taken off the border and farmed out to other agencies. Del Cueto said the Border Patrol should have a defense-in-depth strategy and not put all the resources on the border itself.
"We are essentially playing goal-line defense every day," he said.

Dan Bell, a rancher near Nogales, said that having access to stretches of the border was key to enforcement. A two-mile road was just put in on his ranch along the border, but that took 10 years to accomplish, he said. "Getting to the border is paramount if one is to protect it," Bell said.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said the plan for border security needs to be redefined, taking what has worked from the past and retooling it for new challenges. He also was one of several who gave testimony that, in addition to any increase in Border Patrol agents, there needs to be an increase in prosecutions of illegal immigrants.

Frank Krentz, a Cochise County rancher whose father, Robert, was killed in 2010 by a suspected illegal immigrant, also said there needs to be judicial reform. He recounted stories of immigrants who know which court jurisdictions will treat them with more leniency if caught.

Commercial interests

A couple panel members wanted to make sure any increased border security would not hamper a bustling trade with Mexico.

Jaime Chamberlain, president of Nogales, Ariz.-based J-C Distributing Inc., said money should be put into improving the state's ports of entry to make them more effective and efficient. The recently upgraded Mariposa Port of Entry is understaffed, he said, keeping the local economy from booming.

Chamberlain also said securing the border and meeting commercial demands are not an either/or matter.
"Securing Danny Bell's ranch and Jaime Chamberlain's port of entry are equally important," he said.

Douglas Mayor Danny Ortega said 65 percent of his city's general fund comes from sales tax revenue, and 80 percent of sales come from those crossing the border to spend money in Arizona.
"We need to view the southern border as an asset and not a liability," he said.

Immigration reform

Though the hearing was focusing on border security, more than a few witnesses testified that security has to be coupled with an overhaul to the country's immigration system.

Ortega called for a streamlining of the process for Mexican citizens to obtain B1/B2 border crossing cards to cross into the U.S. to shop or visit.

Pastor Mark Adams with the bi-national ministry Frontera de Cristo, based in Douglas and Agua Prieta, Sonora, said 1990s immigration policies making it harder to cross between the two countries may have actually led to an increase in those entering the U.S. illegally. Those on the border have seen a shift between young men entering the country looking for work toward women and families doing so, he said.

Adams also called the tension between border security and immigration reform a "false" and "dangerous" dichotomy.

Nan Stockholm Walden, vice president and counsel for Farmers Investment Co., said border issues need a multi-layered approach and that the temporary worker system is broken. She advocated for ID cards with biometric markers and other means to allow those who want to work in the U.S. to do so.
"We are confusing Juan and Juanita, who just want to come here to work … with Juan the drug smuggler," she said.

Internal checkpoints

McSally asked each panel member about their thoughts on the use of internal Border Patrol checkpoints, such as the one on northbound Interstate 19 north of Tubac.

Del Cueto argued they serve a purpose and help deter illegal traffic. The Border Patrol knows that if someone manages to get through the border and then 10 miles into the U.S., the chances of catching them decreases.

"(The checkpoint agents) are not here to give anyone a hard time, they are here to do their job," he said.

Chamberlain called the checkpoints cumbersome, especially along a huge freight corridor such as I-19. He also said ruts are forming on the road where trucks are stopped and nearby property values are adversely affected. "I don't see the checkpoints being that effective," he said.

Stockholm Walden recommended roving checkpoints that shift time and place to better catch smugglers unawares.

Bell wasn't sold on the idea of checkpoints but didn't think it was a pressing issue.
"For now I think it's a necessity, but let's keep our focus on getting down to the border," he said.


end




Southern Arizonans call for secure border at Congressional field hearing
BY KATHY CLINE
May 10, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
PHOENIX — Southern Arizonans minced few words Monday as they called for a secure border during a Congressional field hearing held in the state.

"We have damage being done to our fences," Nogales rancher Dan Bell said. "Our watering facilities were damaged and drained. Our vehicles are stolen. Homes are broken into and valuables taken."

The hearing was hosted in Sahuarita by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, who represents the state's 2nd Congressional District, after the House passed a bill that allows for a full threat assessment of the nation's southern border. H.R. 4482 will also study trade and immigration.

"Contrary to what we've been told, the border is not secure," she said. "And the consequences of this failure are felt by our residents every day. That's why southern Arizonans' perspectives are so important."

Most people at the hearing agreed with McSally.

"Violence against innocent citizens, public officials, law enforcement and rival drug, human-trafficking groups continues to escalate," Cochise County Sheriff Mark Daniels said.

However, some urged officials to remember that no matter what steps they may consider or take, they will affect those who call the area home.

"It's home to me, and it's home to millions of others," pastor Mark Adams said. "Too often, the border has been seen as a place to defend, as a place to be afraid of.

"As you all undertake the task of making laws, and trying to oversee the policies that make our border secure, I really want to encourage you to remember that the border is home."

END



Border Patrol checkpoints focus of congressional field hearing
Monday, May 9th 2016, 3:56 pm MST
Monday, May 9th 2016, 6:39 pm MST
By Bud Foster, Reporter

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/31929685/border-patrol-checkpoints-focus-of-congressional-field-hearing

SAHUARITA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
A field hearing on border security Monday, May 9, brought out many diverse opinions about how to secure the border without damaging commerce, but there seemed to be general consensus that the border checkpoints hurt more than they help.

The congressional hearing in Sahuarita was chaired by District 2 Congresswoman Martha McSally, who is chairwoman of the Maritime Security Subcommittee.

A diverse group of politicians and regular citizens testified that the checkpoints, which are located 22 miles from the border, act as an impediment to commercial trade and do little to enhance security.

"Used to be that I had to advertise for 45 days to make sure no American can do this job," says Nan Stockholm-Walden, Vice President of Farmers Investment Council. "Now it's 75 days."

Many times those crops, like grapes or strawberries, will perish in the field before they can be harvested.
"A lot of policies in Washington don't work so well in the real world," said Stockholm-Walden.

McSally says she has "heard all this before" but wants to make it part of the Congressional record in hopes of adding to information, which may change policy.

She wants her Washington colleagues to hear how people who live in southern Arizona have concerns about deploying agents 22 miles in, rather that at the border.
"The business community is concerned it's impacting their business, their flow of traffic and attracting new business to our community," she said.

McSally also argues the smugglers go around the checkpoints leaving nearby neighborhoods vulnerable.
"It's a public threat to them," she said.

It is the Border Patrol's policy of "defense in depth" that allows time to make stops and arrests when someone, including drug smugglers, make it across the border.

In an effort to avoid the fixed, permanent checkpoints, the criminals just go around them and rejoin their route on the other side.

Some say it's time for a new policy that stations border agents along the border to enhance the fence, which runs for more than 600 miles. But at the same time, massing the border agents in the ports of entry along the border will only slow down commerce, which is nearly $2 billion in Douglas, AZ alone.

Others call for a renewed effort for immigration reform.

"We've had 20 years of border walls, more agents, more helicopters, more roads and none of that has solved the problem," said Dan Mills, of the Sierra Club. "We need to start looking at the root causes."
He says the policy needs to change to encourage people "to come through the front door rather than sneaking in the back door."

Arizona and much of the nation relies on a quick delivery of goods, services and produce. Anything that delays that costs money.

The testimony from Monday's hearing will be part of the Congressional record.

END

Sunday, May 8, 2016

AZMEX UPDATE 7-5-16

AZMEX UPDATE 7 MAY 2016



Note: video at link.

Posted: May 06, 2016 8:12 PM MST
Updated: May 06, 2016 8:15 PM MST
Border family calls for more agents after ranch overrun by drug smugglers
Written By Aalia Shaheed
Written By Anthony Victor Reyes

http://www.kvoa.com/story/31914493/border-family-calls-for-more-agents-after-ranch-overrun-by-drug-smugglers

TUCSON -
Border Patrol agents are the first line of defense for southern Arizonans who live in border communities.

One family said their ranch is being overrun by drug smugglers. They claim there are not enough agents on the border.

Jim and Sue Chilton have lived in an Arivaca ranch for decades. It is their dream home, but Mexican cartels have turned it into more of a nightmare.
"To have 'druggers' coming through our ranch all the time and we have absolute evidence of it," said Jim Chilton. "It's just outrageous."

Border Patrol operates forward operating camps, which place agents from the Tucson Sector in various hot spots along the border.

The Chiltons said there simply are not enough of those camps because agents are too busy working checkpoints away from the border, leaving their backyard wide open to drug smugglers.
"We live in no man's land and that's intolerable," said Jim Chilton. "The U.S. government should secure the international boundary at the boundary."

Sue Chilton recently spoke about life on the border in front of a house subcommittee on border security.
"What needs to happen is we need a wall on the border, but a wall without patrolling is useless," she said.

Some southern Arizona residents like environmentalist Nan Walden said a border wall would affect the desert landscape of the area. "We don't want to destroy the features of these lands and the flora and fauna that make them so special," said Walden.

Bother side agree, something has to be done to better secure border communities.

end




Border Patrol agent attacked
Friday, May 6th 2016, 3:40 pm MST
Friday, May 6th 2016, 4:33 pm MST
By Kevin Adger, ReporterCONNECT

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/31913308/border-patrol-agent-attacked

Needle stuck in chewing gum. (Source: Facebook)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
A Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent is going through testing after being pricked by a needle.

The agent was just getting ready to start his day. He had stopped at a local convenient store near Three Points.

The President of the Local 2544 Border Patrol Union said, "The agent opened his passenger side door and felt a sharp pain in his finger."

The agent then looked under the door handle and found a hypodermic needle stuck to gum.

The BP agent is going through medical testing, because nobody knows what was in the needle.

The Union president tells Tucson News Now that he has advised his nearly 3,000 agents to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings when stopping at local businesses.

As for this case, it is now under investigation by the FBI.

END




Note: photos at link.


Ports and Border: Outbound check turns up handguns; body-carriers busted
From CBP reports May 6, 2016 (0)
Handguns
CBP photo
The three handguns confiscated from an Audi crossover vehicle.
Handguns
CBP photo
CBP officers in Nogales uncovered a hidden compartment where three handguns were concealed.
Handguns
CBP photo
A hidden compartment underneath the seats of an Audi was found to contain three handguns.
Handguns
CBP photo
Three handguns were taken from the hidden compartment.
Cocaine
CBP photo
Officers at the DeConcini pedestrian crossing searched a 22-year-old Nogales man and found nearly three pounds of cocaine taped beneath his clothing.
Meth
CBP photo
When a woman was searched by CBP officers at the Morley gate, she was found to have packages of meth wrapped around her lower legs
Meth
CBP photo
When a woman was searched by CBP officers at the Morley gate, she was found to have packages of meth wrapped around her lower legs


May 4
• U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at an unspecified Nogales port of entry selected an southbound Audi Crossover driven by a 37-year-old Mexican national for a secondary inspection and found two 9mm Berettas and a .38-caliber Colt handgun hidden in a secret compartment under the vehicle's front seat.

May 3
• CBP officers at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry referred a 32-year-old Tucson woman for further inspection of her Volkswagen vehicle and found more than 20 pounds of cocaine, worth almost $230,000, in the rear quarter panels.

• CBP officers at the Morley Avenue pedestrian crossing referred a 25-year-old Mexican woman for a further search. After a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the presence of narcotics, officers found more than four pounds of meth wrapped around the woman's calves. The drugs were valued at more than $12,000.

• Officers at the DeConcini pedestrian crossing found nearly three pounds of cocaine, worth almost $30,000, taped around the legs of a 22-year-old Nogales man after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the stash.

May 2
• A 72-year-old Mexican man was referred for a secondary inspection of his truck at the DeConcini port. CBP officers then found more than 71 pounds of methamphetamine, worth in excess of $214,000, and nearly 2.5 pounds of cocaine, valued at almost $28,000, hidden in the vehicle.

April 26
• Border Patrol agents working at the Interstate 19 checkpoint referred a Ford sedan for a secondary inspection area. The driver and a female passenger, Brisseth Karina Gallardo-Ruiz, exited the vehicle for an immigration inspection. Agents then discovered that Gallardo-Ruiz, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, was concealing two packages of heroin with a combined weight of 6.65 pounds on her body. The drugs were valued at almost $116,000.

end

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

AZMEX UPDATE 4-5-16

AZMEX UPDATE 4 MAY 2016



CG area Border Patrol agent almost run down by smuggler
Agent narrowly escaped injury
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 8:34 am
Staff Reports
http://www.trivalleycentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/cg-area-border-patrol-agent-almost-run-down-by-smuggler/article_c21c09e8-120d-11e6-b349-1f97ebe7ce45.html

CASA GRANDE – A Border Patrol agent narrowly escaped injury after a suspected smuggler made an alleged attempt to run him over at a checkpoint near Casa Grande, authorities said.

Agents working at the Federal Route 15 checkpoint Saturday south of Casa Grande encountered a Dodge pickup truck and referred the driver to a secondary inspection lane after a canine alerted to the vehicle. Instead, the driver ignored the instructions and accelerated directly at the agent, according to a press release.

The agent was able to deploy a spike strip while simultaneously evading the oncoming vehicle, successfully deflating two of the truck's tires. Unfazed, however, the driver continued to flee.
Agents pursued the vehicle for 30 miles on Federal Route 15 on the Tohono O'Odham Indian Nation until other agents deployed a second spike strip, which deflated the remaining two tires. With the truck inoperable, the driver then attempted to evade agents on foot but was immediately apprehended. A subsequent search of the truck uncovered two bales of marijuana, weighing nearly 56 pounds and worth approximately $27,800.

Agents later conducted a biometric records check that identified the driver as a U.S citizen on parole from the Arizona Department of Corrections. The subject is now in custody and faces charges relating to the drugs, assault and ensuing pursuit.

"The agent showed incredible fortitude, maintaining the presence of mind to deploy spike strips in an attempt to prevent the driver from inflicting harm to others," said Tucson Sector Chief Paul Beeson. "The agent's quick thinking and composure reinforces the importance of utilizing safe tactics and the necessity for our agents to remain vigilant at all times."

Recent statistics released by Customs and Border Protection show that Tucson Sector, which includes Pinal County, accounted for more than 20 percent of all assaults on agents recorded by the U.S. Border Patrol in 2015.

END



Human smuggling ring leaders sentenced to 10 years in prison
Navideh Forghani
5:58 PM, May 4, 2016
2 hours ago

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-central-southern-az/other/human-smuggling-ring-leaders-sentenced-to-10-years-in-prison

DOUGLAS, AZ. - The two leaders of a Mexican human smuggling ring were sentenced in federal court on Wednesday.

The group is linked to smuggling hundreds of undocumented immigrants into Arizona from Central America.

Investigators said the extremely dangerous group would pack dozens of migrants into an SUV and actively try to run from law enforcement.

In 2009, investigators said they were responsible for a rollover crash in southern Arizona, in which 27 undocumented immigrants were crammed into an SUV. Ten of the people inside the vehicle were killed.

The head of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Douglas said these groups would constantly try to out run law enforcement.

"Sometimes that resulted in putting the public in danger, law enforcement and even the immigrants in danger. So, our ability to impact that and make the community safer is one of the things I'm most proud of having accomplished," said ASAC Carlos Archuleta, of the HSI Douglas office.

Fidel Mancinas-Franco and Juan Villela-Lopez both received approximately 10 years in prison.

HSI used its partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office and Board Patrol to help get the smugglers off the streets.

END




Binational operation 'Relámpago Azul' leads to large busts in Mexico
Nogales International Updated 3 hrs ago (0)

http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/binational-operation-rel-mpago-azul-leads-to-large-busts-in/article_8b98206a-124d-11e6-8981-07e4217d044c.html

Relámpago Azul
Mexican Public Safety Secretariat photo
This haul of $250,000 was confiscated as part Relámpago Azul.
Relámpago Azul
Mexican Public Safety Secretariat photo
Mexican federal police unload boxes from a truck during a bust made as part of the operation Relámpago Azul.

Around 9:30 pm. on Sunday, April 17, Mexican officials arrested a 63-year-old Mexican man for allegedly attempting to smuggle $250,000 through a checkpoint in Nogales, Sonora. Officers inspecting the man's Hyundai SUV with an Arizona license plate found 25 bundles wrapped in black tape stashed in the passenger's side running board, according to local media reports.

Later that week, Mexican federal authorities confiscated more than three-and-a-half tons of marijuana hidden in a tractor-trailer that was parked behind a maquiladora in the San Ramon industrial park. The pot, estimated to weigh more than 3,500 kilograms (7, 716 pounds), were found hidden between hospital equipment and stashed in 307 packages wrapped in tape.

Mexican authorities also inspected several homes and hotels in the Centro and Buenos Aires neighborhoods of Nogales, Sonora, hoping to crack down on human trafficking and organized crime. The searches led to several arrests.

The seizures and arrests were part of a binational operation known in Mexico as "Relámpago Azul," or "Blue Thunder." The two-week operation ran from April 17-30 and involved the Tucson Sector Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations working in collaboration with several Mexican law enforcement agencies. The effort was called Operation Double Threat on the U.S. side of the border.

"The binational operation shows how the integration of information and mirrored enforcement can further secure our borders," CBP's Tucson Sector Chief Paul Beeson said in the news release. "Our ability to work in a coordinated fashion with our law enforcement partners in Mexico contributes to a safer border environment for us all."

The effort led to 467 arrests and the seizure of 25,000 pounds of marijuana valued at about $12.5 million, according to a news release issued by CBP on Wednesday.

Law enforcement also identified 11 stolen vehicles found in Mexico and seized nearly $16,400 worth of Mexican pesos.

On Friday, a convoy of Mexican federal police vehicles caused a stir when it crossed into the United States at the Mariposa Port of Entry. Sonoran media reported that the convoy was headed to a training session as part of Relámpago Azul, but a CBP spokeswoman declined to comment.

END

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

AZMEX UPDATE 3-5-16

AZMEX UPDATE 3 MAY 2016


Yuma residents paying for undocumented immigrants crimes

Posted by Chase Golightly Date: May 02, 2016
YUMA, Ariz.-

http://www.kyma.com/yuma-residents-paying-for-undocumented-immigrants-crimes/

Yuma Sector Border Patrol arrested 21 undocumented immigrants for allegedly smuggling marijuana across the border. However, the Yuma county sheriff's office says local residents will be the ones paying for their crime.

On Thursday April 28th, Wellton Station Border Patrol agents arrested 58 undocumented immigrants. 21 of them were smuggling more than 800 pounds of marijuana in back packs according to Yuma sector border patrol agent Richard Withers.

YCSO says those 21 undocumented immigrants were booked into the Yuma county detention center after the United States Attorney's Office of Arizona refused to prosecute them. Making local taxpayers literally pay for their crime. Alfonso Zavala with YCSO says, "The average is they are in our facility for 100 days costing 78 dollars per day." Zavala says the combined total of all 21 immigrants is costing Yuma taxpayers more than $600,000.

"It's cost is roughly $600,000 on illegal immigrants that cross into the United States, have committed a crime that we have had to fund from our general fund, out of our local taxpayers money because the federal government won't do their job," says Zavala.

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot has spoke out about the lack of prosecution on undocumented immigrants. Wilmot said in a statement, "When the United States Attorney's Office of Arizona continuously refuses to prosecute illegal immigrants smuggling drugs into our state it places a significant burden on local governments to pick up the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating these criminals."

Zavala says it's the FBI administration in Washington are the ones making the attorneys office not prosecute. "We've sent numerous letters to Washington asking for clarification on why this isn't good so it's not something locally. This is something that is occurring in Washington and is streamlining down that we have no control over."

YCSO says they will continue to detain these immigrants for committing crimes.

"Sheriff Wilmot is committed to the community and he will continue to push forward," says Zavala

end



Note: Folks from the other side of the country doing the job the corrupt Obama regime won't do.


Border Keepers: Alabamians travel 1600 miles to suppress drug trade, illegal immigration
By Brittany Bivins
Published: May 2, 2016, 10:08 pm Updated: May 3, 2016, 8:01 am

http://wiat.com/investigative-story/border-keepers-alabamians-travel-1600-miles-to-suppress-drug-trade-illegal-immigration/

Drug Trade The Fence
Related Coverage
6 days in Arizona with the 'Border Keepers of Alabama'
Border Keepers: What do you do when 'everything is trying to kill you'?

The border between the United States and Mexico is nearly 2,000 miles long. It passes through four states in the US, including California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Along this often remote and hostile line, federal border patrol agents are responsible for ensuring the security of the border on the United States's side.

They face a tough fight. Every year, more than a million pounds of illegal drugs pass over the border from Arizona into the United States. Unlike states like California and Texas, where the majority of illegal activity involves human trafficking, Arizona is ground zero for the war against drug smuggling, according to federal officials.

Drug Trade

Nogales, Arizona is more than 1,600 miles from Birmingham, Ala. In many ways, the two cities are completely different. However, they share one very important problem: they've both been impacted by the trade of illicit drugs, most notably heroin. Last year, heroin-related deaths were up by about 150 percent in Jefferson County, according to law enforcement officials. Heroin has been called an "epidemic" across our state by drug prevention groups. While not all of that product comes from Mexico, a large portion of drugs that make their way to Birmingham have been trafficked from out of the country.

2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary
Border Keepers of Alabama

In this way, what happens on the border has had a big impact on Birmingham. The drug trade is part of the catalyst for the creation of the Border Keepers of Alabama. It's a group of a few dozen men and women with the stated goal of preventing drugs and people from passing illegally through the border with Mexico. The organization, which calls itself "BOA" for short, has been met with criticism and praise. Critics call them vigilantes and racists, bent on preventing immigration into the United States. Supporters call them patriots and heroes, intent on doing the job Border Patrol agents have trouble doing alone--enforcing the law.

Border Keepers of AlabamaView as list Open Gallery
Bull
1 of 4


In the past several years, BOA's enrollment has grown. Along with more members, they've expanded their efforts in a big way. Several times a year they run special operations--or "ops"--on the border with Mexico. Between four and ten men usually go on these trips, joining up with dozens of like-minded groups from across the country. They call themselves "three percenters," a reference to the three percent of soon-to-be Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

The Border Keepers of Alabama have traditionally focused their attention on Brownsville, Texas, an urban area that has been a hotbed of illegal activity, from human trafficking to drug smuggling. Recently, though, they say Border Patrol in Texas has made running ops through that area very difficult, if not impossible. In April 2016, they shifted gears, sending men for the second time to an op near Nogales, Arizona.

The Camp

CBS42 News followed the group of six Central Alabamians to their camp site, where we accompanied them on day patrols, night watches, and tried to get a better understanding of exactly what is happening on the border. The men did not use their real names, but "call signs," which is how they asked us to refer to them for this report.

They all had different reasons for coming to Arizona on what could be a dangerous mission to patrol the border. One man, whose call sign is "Trigger," told us he's concerned about the drugs coming across the border. "You know, we're all not crazy zealots. Somebody's got to do it, and our government's not doing it, so we've got to answer that call where we can," he said.

The Border Keepers' efforts are not authorized by the federal government, and they are entirely a volunteer organization. In fact, each man must bring his own supplies. They even pay $15 a day for the cost of hot food and water at camp. However, in Arizona, we saw them work with Border Patrol agents, occasionally running ops in conjunction with them.

"You know, we're all not crazy zealots. Somebody's got to do it, and our government's not doing it, so we've got to answer that call where we can," - Trigger
"They're happy we're here. It helps them out," said "Ghost," the Arizona op's commanding officer. He's part of the Three Percent United Patriots of Arizona, and he's the person who coordinates with volunteers from other states.

"It's their party. We just came for the cake," said "Bull," a Central Alabama native who made the trip to Arizona.

The Conditions

The camp itself is set up about two miles from the border. It's in a remote section of the Patagonia Mountains, about an hour's drive south of Tucson and a half hour's trip north of Nogales, Arizona. There's no cell phone signal, no restaurants or hotels nearby. The houses here are few and said to be owned by supporters of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which Border Patrol tells us controls the drug trade through this area.

"Everything out here is trying to kill you," said "Bull."

During the day, the temperature soars to 80 degrees, but at night, it can get below freezing. There are scorpions, snakes and bears that live in the desert surrounding the camp. The biggest danger, though, comes from across the border itself.

The men are told by camp commanders not to fire any weapons, even though they carry them, unless their lives are in danger. If they see a person attempting to cross the border illegally, they're told to let them cross, then try to convince them to sit down and wait until Border Patrol can get to the scene.

"We're not an assault force, we're not here to arrest anybody. We're here to observe and report," said "Doc," who came from North Carolina for the op.

"Everything out here is trying to kill you," - Bull
During the pre-operation meetings, "Ghost" tells the men their assignments. During the day, that can include recon missions and familiarizing themselves with the area and popular crossing locations. By night, they find their posts and wait for illegal activity.

"It's not like we want somebody here that this is the first time they've ever had a gun on their hand or the first time they've been away from their family. We've got to have people here that are level-headed, that have experience," said "Geezer," another Border Keeper from Alabama.

The Fence

"{Donald} Trump talks about building a wall. Well, we're the wall right now," said "Ghost."

That night, the Border Keepers take us to see the fence. With the naked eye, it looks just like any normal fence, the kind that could keep livestock in or coyotes out. There's no marker to indicate it's a national border. The fence is made up of three wooden boards that run horizontally, covered by barbed wire about an inch thick. In some places, the wire is missing.

"{Donald} Trump talks about building a wall. Well, we're the wall right now," - Ghost
"It's shocking. I've seen it with my own eyes. That's originally why I came down. I hear about this, I want to see it," said "Doc."

On our first day with the Border Keepers, they take the forty or so volunteers on a tour of the area. In the middle of the tour, we're told something has happened. Another group patrolling the nearby mountains has found a cache of drugs. They quickly secure and search the area. We're told to wait in the car while armed men cordon off the dirt road. After a few tense minutes, they move on. The group on the mountain has called Border Patrol to catalog, inventory and turn in the drugs. It's a small load, just five pounds of marijuana altogether.

"You know, we come down for ten days, they can't run their drugs down here, so it costs them two or three million dollars. To the cartels, that's nothing. That's $100 to you and me, literally," said "Ghost."

"We're not even probably putting a dent in what the cartels are sending across, but we're setting an example," said "Nashville," who came from Tennessee for this op.

It's this belief that they're making a difference that brings many of these men to camp.

Night Watch

nightfall

That evening, we see the team's first night patrol. They split up into groups of three or four, then stake out strategic locations along the border. They wear all camouflage, carry weapons, and turn off anything that can emit light. A truck drops them off along their designated areas. From there, they crouch in the brush, flatten themselves among trees, and wait for something to see.

Shortly into the watch, we hear the sound of a car engine near the Mexico side of the fence. We can see the vehicle, but we can't hear it. "Bull" tells us this is common for cartel operators. They stake out the area to make sure it's secure and safe before trying to cross over. The vehicle moves away.

Another hour into the patrol, "Bull" points to a group of lights in the distance. He tell us they are drones, that the cartels often use them to watch the fence. He says it's another way the cartels can keep an eye on what's happening on the border.

On this night, we're out until 3 a.m. when the group is picked up by a command vehicle and taken back to camp. It's been a quiet patrol. No drugs or illegal crossing attempts have been reported. They'll wake up the next morning for another day of operations.

END

AZMEX I3 28-4-16

AZMEX I3 28 APR 2016

Note: For those who haven't seen it. map & graphics at link.
"because their home countries didn't want them back."



ICE releases 19,723 criminal illegals, 208 convicted of murder, 900 of sex crimes
Washington Examiner
By PAUL BEDARD (@SECRETSBEDARD) • 4/28/16 7:35 AM

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ice-releases-19723-criminal-illegals-208-convicted-of-murder-900-of-sex-crimes/article/2589785

ICE releases 19,723 criminal illegals, 208 convicted of murder, 900 of sex crimes

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in 2015 decided not to deport but release 19,723 criminal illegal immigrants, including 208 convicted of murder, over 900 convicted of sex crimes and 12,307 of drunk driving, according to new government numbers.

Overall, those released into virtually every state and territory of America had a total of 64,197 convictions among them, for an average of 3.25 convictions each, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies. ICE also said that the group were convicted of 8,234 violent crimes.

Meanwhile, ICE said that it has also slashed the number of criminals arrested in local communities, according to the Center's Director of Policy Studies, Jessica M. Vaughan. "In 2015, ICE made 119,772 arrests, or just half the number of arrests made in 2013, 232,287," she said in her analysis that also included a map of the releases.

The reason: Under President Obama's immigration policy changes, many criminal immigrants are being ignored even though local police and sheriff have urged ICE to take control of criminals in their jails and deport them.

She said that the slash of arrests is why the number of releases by ICE is down. In 2014, 30,000 criminal illegals were released.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday is holding a hearing on the issue of the releases. In a preview of the issues in the hearing, the committee said, "Each year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement releases tens of thousands of criminal aliens eligible for deportation. After release, many go on to commit additional crimes. With new restrictions on immigration enforcement through the president's executive actions, only narrow classes of removable aliens are priorities for arrest, questioning, detention, or removal. Therefore, millions of removable aliens will be able to remain in the country."

ICE for the first time explained why the illegals were released, with more than half ordered free by courts and in over 2,100 cases because their home countries didn't want them back.

The issue of released criminal illegal immigrants has erupted on the presidential campaign trail and in Congress, especially because several have gone on to commit further crimes, including murder. Republican front runner Donald Trump, for example, refers to the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle by a released criminal undocumented immigrant on a popular San Francisco pier.

It's a typical story, according to Vaughan, who wrote:

"When ICE releases criminal aliens instead of deporting them, the chances are high that the aliens will re-offend. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 71 percent of violent offenders, 77 percent of drug offenders, and 82 percent of property offenders will be arrested for a new crime within five years of release from jail or prison. Drunk drivers are especially prone to offend repeatedly. According to an FBI statistic cited by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before ever being arrested."

END

Thursday, April 28, 2016

AZMEX UPDATE 24-4-16

AZMEX UPDATE 24 APR 2016


PGR destroys 7 tons of drugs in Sonora
Details Published on Friday April 22, 2016,
Written by Editorial / El Diario
http://www.eldiariodesonora.com.mx/notas.php?nota=70357

The Attorney General's Office (PGR), Sonora State Delegation and the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) were destroyed in Sonora,

seven tons 262 kilograms of dried marijuana plant,
just over 87 kg of methamphetamine,
1014 liters of liquid methamphetamine and other substances.

The Deputy Regional Control, Criminal Proceedings and Amparo (SCRPPA) instructed the destruction of narcotics, through its delegation in that entity, in accordance with the National Narcotics Incineration Calendar.

Yesterday, burning took place at the Radiomonitora Station of the City of Hermosillo, site where also were destroyed just over three kilograms of cocaine, 36 liters of liquid methamphetamine with diesel, 273 grams, 700 milligrams of cocaine sulphate and 32 marijuana plants.

The narcotics were related to 46 preliminary investigations initiated by crimes against health and taken in different raids in Sonora by the PGR, Ministry of the Navy of Mexico (Mexican Navy), Federal Police and Sonora State Investigation and Public Safety .

FINISH




Operating results of Blue Lightning
Details Published on Saturday April 23, 2016,
Written by Editorial / The Journal
http://www.eldiariodesonora.com.mx/notas.php?nota=70417

New suspects made available, other seized, eight vehicles and over three tons of confiscated marijuana, are part of the results obtained by the corporations that make up the "Operation Blue Lightning" and now patroling the streets of Nogales, as reported National Safety Commission (CNS).

Through an official statement, the federal agency said there have been also seized 122 cartridges, three magazines, 251,010 pesos, two guns and three radio communication equipment.

According to the federal authority and as a result of the coordination and exchange of binational information based on the agreements of border management within the framework of the Protocols of Border Violence (PVF), the need for conducting Operation Binacional "Blue Lightning" was shown .

end





Note: photo at link.

Federal Police catch three gunmen
Details Published on Saturday April 23, 2016,
Written by Editorial Staff
http://www.eldiariodesonora.com.mx/notas.php?nota=70394

Nogales.

They were aboard a stolen Cherokee, with an assault rifle with a telescopic sight.
Three subjects were arrested by members of the Federal Police in possession of an assault rifle, a handgun and more than 120 rounds of ammunition when they were driving aboard a van without license plates and reported as stolen in Sonora Nogales.

Carlos Gabriel Montes Lopez, 21 years old, Marcos Ibarra Patricio Orejel, 19 and Marco Rodriguez Francisco Cervantes, 24 who were made available to the appropriate authorities.

According to official reports PFP on travel surveillance detected a white Jeep Cherokee, model 2015, without license plates where three subjects were circulating at the intersection of Alvaro Obregon Avenue and General Abelardo L. Rodriguez, of this city.

in a routine officers located inside the car a long gun with 2 magazines, 59 rounds of ammunition, a handgun with a magazine and 63 cartridges and four cell phones, a portable radio transmitter and thousand US dollars.

In addition to corroborating the number of those items, officers were alerted that has been reported stolen in force, so that those mentioned were retained in place.

All three were sent along with weapons and the vehicle to the premises of the Federal Public Ministry, where investigations for the demarcation of responsibilities will be made.

END



Arizona Marshal - Gov. Pavlovich recognizes safety work
22 / Apr / 2016 - 8:14 pm

http://tribuna.com.mx/nota.php?n=15432

The US Marshal endorsed the actions of the governor, to recognize problems frankly and willingness to work with US authorities
By: Staff

Hermosillo, Sonora Sonora.- Between Arizona and there is a working relationship and besides sharing a border they collaborate in combating crime rates that affect both states, said US Marshal in the District of Arizona, David Gonzales, in a meeting with Pavlovich Claudia Arellano Governor.

The meeting to work bilaterally on the security issue also was raised by the Governor Claudia Pavlovich, that agents of the state and municipal police could receive training from American elements.

The US Marshal endorsed the actions of the Governor Claudia Pavlovich, to recognize existing problems frankly and willingness to work with authorities in the United States for a common benefit.

"It is a committed person and very honest and frank about problems and is easy to work with, makes everyone feel at ease and comfortable, and that makes a relationship work."

He said that although warnings about acts of crime in Mexico occurred, they also occur in Arizona and the rest of the neighboring country, so we must work together to ensure the safety of the citizens of the two states.

"Any place you go there are problems of crime and I think that sometimes the government reacts more about certain things, but we must also be cautious on both sides of the border because we also have problems with crime in Arizona and the United States and sometimes you have take it as a grain of salt because there are problems of crime in any country. "

end




Seized 7.4 million dollars of marijuana at Mariposa POE
Details Published on Saturday April 23, 2016,
Written by Rosalia Muñoz
http://www.eldiariodesonora.com.mx/notas.php?nota=70407

Nogales, Az.

Over 7 million in marijuana were seized by officers of Customs and Border Protection assigned to the Mariposa commercial POE, aboard a trailer.
Through a press release, the office of CBP (for its acronym in English) reported third largest seizure of marijuana in the history of the ports of entry in Arizona, on 21 April.
The statement said following a canine officers alert sent to a second inspection the driver of a truck 51 years intended to enter the United States through the aforementioned commercial POE with a cargo of watermelons.

In the inspection process they detected a total of 14 thousand 800 pounds of marijuana hidden packages made in plastic wrap between boxes watermelons, and whose value on the black market reaches 7.4 million.
The goods and the vehicle were seized, while the driver, who is a resident of Nogales, Sonora, was made available to the relevant authorities for investigation.

FINISH




Note: this one Might need a few grains of salt, Along With some tequila. Over the past few years, it is Estimated That Thousands have "disappeared", many to be "found" working for better paying employer.


197 MILITARY TRAIL TO LOSE
UNKNOWN LOCATION
24 / Apr / 2016
http://www.nuevodia.com.mx/Nota.aspx?p=12519

From 2012 to date, 197 members of the Mexican Army and Air Force have disappeared, according to the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA).

So far the current administration, the whereabouts of 183 soldiers, 13 corporals and a second sergeant is unknown. However, in the last administration, when Felipe Calderon declared war on drug trafficking, the number of missing in the military forces was 45 military, MVS News reported.

The average cites a report by the Department of Defense, dependence by Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, which details it was in 2014 the year with the highest incidence since 130 soldiers were reported missing; in 2013 there were 67 cases; and so far in 2015 and 2016 there was no reporting of this crime.

In comparison, during the presidency of Calderón, 2011 it was the year with the highest incidence: 22 military unlocated were recorded; followed by 2012 with 15; and 2010 with eight. From 2006 to 2009 there were no reports.

In 2015, the Department of Defense reported that there is no clarity about what could happen to the soldiers registered under this condition and the cause of it is unknown. The truth is that elements were active, and there were no reports of missing from senior commanders.

end

AZMEX EXTRA 24-4-16

AZMEX EXTRA 24 APR 2016

Note: from the good folks over at Borderland Beat.
The "gun guys" might want to take a good look at the photos at link. Even got a couple s/n.
Town in northern Chihuahua.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/04/tigers-weapons-and-cars-seized-to-la.html#more


Friday, April 22, 2016
Tigers, weapons, and cars seized from La Linea in Chihuahua

Wounded criminals, criminals killed by police, six detainees, powerful missile launchers, Barret rifles, thousands of bullets, more than 20 stolen vehicles, drugs, tactical gear, cash and exotic animals were seized by the General Office of Chihuahua during an operation in several points of the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes.

Under the operation "For The Safety Of Casas Grandes" agents of the Attorney General seized powerful weapons such as rocket launchers, Barret rifles, over a thousand 300 cartridges, lots of tactical equipment, vehicles reported as stolen including modern sports cars, drugs and exotic animals, in addition to the arrest of six subjects, a cell belonging to organized crime.

An investigation was carried out by elements of the State Police in order to provide security to the inhabitants of the area comprising the municipalities of Casas Grandes, Nuevo Casas Grandes, Ascension, Ignacio Zaragoza, Buenaventura and Janos.

The total number of items seized under this operation was:

• 19 stolen vehicles.

• 1 50-caliber Barret rifle, beige color, model M107A1, with serial number AE000334.

• 1 guided missile launcher, green.

• Automatic rifle 30 mm caliber black.

• 5 exotic animas rescued

• 4 military rifles Romanian 7.62 x 39 serial number 51-01999-99. And 7.62 x 39 mm

• 5 pistols

• 34 chargers

• 2 ammo packs

• One thousand 309 cartridges of different calibers.

• 11 tactical vests.

• 10 tactical military-style helmets

• 3 pairs of military boots

• 16 military uniforms of different colors.

• 2 green military ammo carriers

• 1 pair of knee pads

• 25 clear plastic wrappers of cocaine.

• 25 bundles of marijuana

• 1 communication equipment

• 1 pair of handcuffs

• $ 498, 400 pesos

• $ 1,475 dollars

On Friday April 15, police elements responded to a violent event that occurred between km 222 and 224 on a section known as "Las Emes" on the San Buenaventura to Ignacio Zaragoza road, and located three trucks with three dead people and one injured, all wore camouflage clothing. The injured person said to belong to the criminal group known as "La Linea".

On the same afternoon, State Police officers, were investigating the presence of armed civilians and upon reaching the section known as "El Bordo de la Vía", which connects Casas Grandes to Ignacio Zaragoza were attacked by criminals. They repel the aggression and shot dead one men carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, plus a .50 caliber Barrett rifle and .308 caliber cartridges.


On Saturday April 16, police responded to a call about armed men outside some apartments "Posada" located in Jesus Urueta and Mata Ortiz streets in colonia Centro, they located a stolen Blue GMC Yukon XL 2005 model, it was reported stolen since January 23, 2016. On the back, a missile launcher was located, with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, body armor, tactical camouflage uniforms, helmets and automatic weapons.

On Monday April 18, State Police arrested members of a criminal group, they were identified as Victor Manuel Hernandez Fernandez, Manuel Omar Sandoval Ramirez and Jose Torres Duenas, carrying assault rifles, handguns, 715 rounds of ammunition of different calibers, 25 wrappers with cocaine, camouflage uniforms and a stolen vehicle, in addition to $ 498, 400 pesos and $ 1,745 dollars.

On Tuesday morning, officers on patrol duty in Nuevo Casas Grandes, realized that a man ran on Plan Alemán street when he notice the police presence and enter the house number 4610, a farm that according to witnesses was uninhabited. On the premises police found cages with five wild big cats (tigers, lion, and bobcat), totally abandoned. The exotic animals were seized and turn to the competent authority, since exotic animals require specialized care and handling.

On the same day, at 6:30 pm on Tecnológico and 05 de Febrero streets, of Casas Grandes, Caesar Irving Cortez Renova was arrested, driving a Chevrolet Avanlache, stolen in Ciudad Juarez on January 17, 2016, police seized a 9 mm pistol, with five live rounds of ammunition, tactical equipment, 75 grams of marijuana and two photographs of Cesar Irving dressed in military style clothing and carrying a rocket launcher, which was secured days earlier by authorities.

In these same operations, police located in the municipality Casas Grandes five abandoned luxury cars reported as stolen in the U.SA, while on different streets of the town of Ascension, police recovered six automotive of recent model, stolen in different parts of the country, achieving the arrest of Miguel Ángel García Bañuelos and Cesar Trujillo Casas, who were in the process of dismantling a Honda Civic 2006 on Trigo and Álamo streets, with theft report of September 24, 2014, in Ciudad Juarez.

This article was translated from La Opcion.

end






La Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional recibe y destruye más de 75,000 armas de fuego que han sido canjeadas en todo el país.

http://www.gob.mx/sedena/prensa/la-secretaria-de-la-defensa-nacional-recibe-y-destruye-mas-de-75-000-armas-de-fuego-que-han-sido-canjeadas-en-todo-el-pais

Lomas de Sotelo, Ciudad de México, a 20 de marzo de 2016.-

La Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional informa que en coordinación con los Gobiernos de los Estados, iniciativa privada y sociedad en general, en el marco de la Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos y su Reglamento, y como parte de las acciones en beneficio de las familias mexicanas, ha retirado de los hogares durante la presente administración, más de 75,000 armas de fuego, canjeadas por la población civil.

Este importante resultado, se obtuvo gracias a la implementación de la "campaña de canje de armas de fuego" puesta en marcha en todo el territorio nacional, bajo la coordinación del Ejército y Fuerza Aérea Mexicanos, con el propósito de que la población civil entregue, voluntariamente, las armas de fuego, granadas y municiones que tienen en sus hogares, buscando así disminuir riesgos y violencia en el entorno de las familias mexicanas.

Destacan por su interés y nivel de participación la Ciudad de México, el Estado de México, Sinaloa, Coahuila y Nuevo León.

Se precisa que 75,009 armas, 2´043,916 cartuchos y 6,312 granadas, fueron destruidas de inmediato, evitando con esto la posibilidad de hacer daño a los hogares mexicanos, las cuales se suman a las 23,457 armas, 3´666,156 cartuchos y 2,836 granadas aseguradas durante la presente administración, en actividades de apoyo a la seguridad pública que realizan las Fuerzas Armadas de tierra y aire.

La Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional agradece y reconoce la confianza y participación activa de la sociedad y sus gobiernos, sumando esfuerzos para lograr y mantener un México en Paz.

END

Thursday, April 21, 2016

AZMEX EXTRA 21-4-16

AZMEX EXTRA 21 APR 2016

Note: Actually TX. Anyone taking bets on if there will be any Fed. interest in this "gun crime"?


Agents discover 16 immigrants in Edinburg stash house
Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 9:12 pm
STAFF REPORT

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/agents-discover-immigrants-in-edinburg-stash-house/article_5db9d4ec-069d-11e6-bc71-a3e55ab6b562.html

A traffic stop Monday afternoon led to the discovery of 16 undocumented immigrants and a 20-gauge shotgun with a tampered serial number in Edinburg.

Border Patrol agents attempted to pull over a pair of men who were known smugglers, according to a press release from the office of the United States Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector.

The two men fled the scene, but the driver was quickly apprehended. The men had initially fled near a house, which they were suspected of looking after, according to the release. Authorities obtained consent to search the house and found 16 undocumented immigrants hailing from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and the shotgun.

The suspected smuggler, a Mexican national, was subsequently arrested.

end

AZMEX UPDATE 21-4-16

AZMEX UPDATE 21 APR 2016


Note: Even more trouble ahead? "under new orders to protect their shipments," Video at link.


Shootouts may signal change in smuggling tactics

Posted: Apr 19, 2016 8:59 PM MST
Updated: Apr 19, 2016 10:10 PM MST
By Morgan Loew

http://www.cbs5az.com/story/31768251/shootouts-may-signal-change-in-smuggling-tactics?autostart=true

CASA GRANDE, AZ (CBS5) -
Two shootouts in the desert south of Phoenix may indicate the Sinaloa Drug Cartel is ordering its smugglers to ramp up violence in an effort to protect drug shipments, according to multiple law enforcement sources who spoke to CBS 5 Investigates. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media about the incidents.

The first shootout occurred on April 7 in the desert near Arizona City, according to a statement given to CBS 5 Investigates in response to questions about the incident. The statement says Border Patrol agents reported being fired upon as they attempted to intercept a group of suspected smugglers. The agents returned fire, arrested five suspects and seized nearly 500 pounds of marijuana.

Law enforcement sources tell CBS 5 Investigates the agents involved in the firefight were members of the elite BORTAC unit, which is used in drug interdiction operations. Nobody was injured in that shootout.

One week later, Casa Grande Police pulled over a vehicle on Interstate 8 near the Vekol Valley. Inside the vehicle was a man who stated that he had been shot and stabbed in the desert.

Law enforcement sources tell CBS 5 Investigates they believe the injured man was part of a so-called "rip crew." These are bandits who attempt to steal drug shipments from smugglers. In this instance, the sources say the smugglers opened fire on the rip crew, and a fight ensued. The wounded man was transported to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment. There may have been another man injured in that incident.

The law enforcement sources who spoke to CBS 5 Investigates say it is unusual for smugglers to open fire on law enforcement officers in the desert. The DEA's 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary states, "While operating in the United States, Mexican TCOs (Transnational Criminal Organizations) actively seek to maintain low profiles and avoid violent confrontations between rival TCOs or U.S. law enforcement."

But this year, confidential informants have told law enforcement that smugglers are under new orders to protect their shipments, rather than drop the drugs and run, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

Read more: http://www.cbs5az.com/story/31768251/shootouts-may-signal-change-in-smuggling-tactics#ixzz46UJ1PcRa




Note: As many know, especially those who have served in the middle east, rocks have a very long, lethal history.


UPDATE: Border Patrol agent shoots at man throwing rocks
Christina Myers
5:34 PM, Apr 20, 2016

http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/update-border-patrol-agent-shoots-at-man-throwing-rocks?autoplay=true

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Chief Patrol Agent with the Tucson Sector of Border Patrol gave new details Wednesday about a shooting involving an agent.

Paul Beeson said the incident happened Tuesday just after 4p.m. in a remote area near Cowlic, AZ on the Tohono O'Odham reservation.

He said a number of agents were tracking a group of suspected drug smugglers. When the agents approached the suspects, one of them took off.

One of the agents followed the fleeing suspect, according to Beeson.

"The suspect stopped, picked up some rocks and began throwing them at the agent while making verbal threats," said Beeson. That is when he said the agent shot his gun at the suspect two times.

The suspect was not hit and fled once again, but he was caught and arrested after a brief chase.

The agents also arrested two other suspects. They found more than 240 pounds of marijuana with them.

The suspect who allegedly threw rocks at the agent was found to be a Honduran national who had already been deported once. He faces pending charges of Re-entry after Deportation, Narcotics Smuggling and possible Assault charges depending on the outcome of an investigation by the FBI.

The CBP Office of Professional Responsibility is doing a separate investigation into the agent's actions.

"There's various levels of force that agents are allowed to employ depending upon the circumstances and then of course their perception of what the threat is at the time. Agents go through extensive training at the Border Patrol Academy. There is extensive training that takes place throughout their career on a quarterly basis," said Beeson.

The agent's identity is not being released as the investigation is ongoing, but Beeson said he is a 12-year veteran who is on administrative leave pending the investigation results.

END




FBI, Customs to investigate shooting on Arizona-Mexico border
ASSOCIATED PRESS | April 20, 2016 @ 4:30 pm

http://ktar.com/story/1029855/fbi-customs-to-investigate-shooting-on-arizona-mexico-border/

PHOENIX — An 18-year-old suspected drug smuggler wasn't injured when a U.S. Border Patrol agent fired two shots at him during an encounter Tuesday in the southern Arizona desert.

The FBI and a Customs and Border Protection internal review board are investigating the shooting that took place on Tohono O'odham Nation land about 75 miles southwest of Tucson.

Tucson Sector spokesman Matthew Eisenhauer said the encounter unfolded shortly after 4 p.m., when agents who had been tracking a trio of smugglers carrying marijuana bundles attempted to make an arrest.

One of the smugglers, an 18-year-old Honduran who has been previously deported, ran away and was chased by an agent. The suspect stopped, picked up rocks from the ground and threw them at the agent while making verbal threats, Eisenhauer said.

The Border Patrol has not named the man or the agent. The agent is a 12-year veteran who has been placed on standard administrative leave.

Eisenhauer said rocks can seriously injure or even kill agents.

"Any type of projectile can be used to incapacitate or seriously maim or injure to even the point of death," he said.

The agent fired two shots at the man but missed. The man was arrested along with two other suspected smugglers.

Agents seized 247 pounds of marijuana following the arrest.

Border Patrol data released this month shows that use of force by agents and U.S. Customs and Border officers has been on the decline, dropping by about 26 percent from fiscal years 2014 to 2015.

Civil rights groups said agents resort to using force too quickly, especially in cases involving rock-throwers.

END



Note: no info yet on origin of the illegal immigrants, as legal immigrants seldom come in this way. Photos at link.

Trucker caught with 42 migrants in trailer
Nogales International 15 hrs ago (0)

http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/trucker-caught-with-migrants-in-trailer/article_f46ee090-075a-11e6-95e8-d7f2083f1f8b.html

A group of 42 undocumented immigrants was found in a tractor-trailer.
A truck driver was arrested Monday after police found 42 undocumented immigrants hiding in the trailer he was hauling on Interstate 19.

Authorities said federal agents learned from an investigative source that undocumented immigrants were hiding in some brush north of Nogales. The Department of Homeland Security's Joint Intelligence Operations Center then coordinated with the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety for air and ground support.

"From high above the scene, an aircrew from (Air and Marine Operations) reported seeing a group of people leaving the brush and climbing into the back of a tractor-trailer," the Joint Task Force-West said in a news release.

At approximately 9 p.m., DPS officers stopped the northbound tractor-trailer on Interstate 19 near Tubac and busted the driver and his passengers.

The driver, a U.S. citizen, and the immigrants were transferred to Border Patrol custody in Nogales.

"This collaborative law enforcement action was made possible because multiple agencies work together through the Joint Task Force-West Arizona," said Paul Beeson, JTF-W commander in Arizona. "These types of coordinated efforts leverage partner agency capabilities and jurisdictional authorities to dismantle criminal networks."

end




Report: Heroin overdose deaths spike in southern Arizona county
CLARISSA COOPER/CRONKITE NEWS |
April 20, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

http://ktar.com/story/1030016/report-heroin-overdose-deaths-spike-in-southern-arizona-county/

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nearly 100 addicts died of heroin overdoses in Pima County last year, making heroin the number one cause of death by a single drug.

Pima County's Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Hess said 379 people died of drug overdoses in 2015 – 93 of which were exclusively caused by heroin.
"We had 93 deaths attributed to heroin in 2015 and that's definitely an increase over previous years," Hess said.

Cronkite News reported last year that Pima County had an overdose rate almost twice as high as any other Arizona county, based on an analysis of public records from the 2009-2013 Arizona Hospital Discharge Data Set, gathered by the Arizona Department of Health Services' Bureau of Public Health Statistics.

The five ZIP codes that saw the most overdoses all were in metropolitan Tucson, the analysis showed.

"The number of deaths may wax and wane a little over time, but certainly heroin is the major killer that we see right now and it's dangerous," Hess said. "It's an equal opportunity drug, so to speak, it doesn't necessarily have to fit one demographic."

Overdose deaths also increased statewide the board from 2013 to 2014, according to the data from AZDHS.

In 2014, there were 494 deaths recorded from pharmaceutical opioids and benzodiazepines, a 16 percent increase from the previous year. Heroin-caused deaths jumped from 125 in 2013 to 180 in 2014, a 44 percent increase.

Recovering addict Dara Lawson of Phoenix is still witnessing the dangers of heroin 4-and-a-half years into sobriety. In a 2-month period, Lawson lost three friends to heroin overdoses.
"It's just heartbreaking because in my four-and-a-half years of sobriety, I can't even tell you how many friends I have lost," Lawson said. "Close friends, there's been four. Acquaintances, there's been over fifty."

Lawson, now a mother of two young boys, said it's not uncommon to open Facebook to see that another friend has passed away from a heroin overdose.
"It's terrifying and that fear does keep me from going back," Lawson said. "It's an epidemic and it's just taking over all the young people."

Erica Curry, spokeswoman for the Phoenix Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said heroin trafficking continues to increase in Arizona, with the presence of fentanyl, an opioid-based drug similar to heroin, being seen more often as an add-in to heroin.
"Fentanyl can be lethal to a person at 250 micrograms, which when you take a step back and consider that amount, it's equivalent to about two or three grains of table salt," Curry said. "Not a lot goes a long way."

She added, "those addicts who are getting their heroin laced with fentanyl are using what they would consider their regular dose, their normal amount that they use and because it's laced with fentanyl, it's that much more potent and they are overdosing."

Lawson started getting high with prescription pills. According to a 2014 survey by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 94 percent of respondents, who were in treatment programs, said they chose heroin over pills because it was cheaper and easier to get.

"Undoubtedly, prescription drug abuse is the number one cause of the current heroin epidemic," Curry said. "Get rid of the prescription drugs, you'll get rid of the heroin addiction."

The Drug Enforcement Agency reported 80 to 90 percent of heroin addicts start with prescription drugs and then escalate to heroin.

"People need to respect prescription pills because when they don't realize prescription pills are still a drug, that's when things get out of control and then once they're addicted, they realize that heroin is cheaper and has a stronger effect and that's when they get into that," Lawson said.

Terry Bernier, a Sahuarita mother of three boys, witnessed her oldest son transition from pills to heroin. He has been struggling with a heroin addiction for about eight years.
"Through some skateboarding accidents, someone introduced him to some pain pills and then I think his next introduction was really heroin," Bernier said. "And it just hooked him, very quickly. Over time, you find spoons and foil and then you start researching and looking."

Her son is currently trying to get permission from his probation officer to get into a non-profit program in California called the Dream Center, which provides long-term addiction recovery help for free.

Bernier said she is partnering with the program to create the Southern Arizona Dream Center in the Tucson area.

"I think the longer time they have, the better opportunity they have for their brain to heal and to learn new habits," she said. "They don't just take you through a year program, but they take you further if you need. They take you through life skills, they teach you how to do budgeting and take care of money, they teach you how to have a job skill."

Bernier's son has been in and out of recovery programs and in and out of the family's quiet, gated community home, leading Bernier to become involved in advocating for better and longer care for recovering addicts. "You learn that you can't let them stay forever because you're enabling them," Bernier said. "However, when they knock on your door at midnight and have nowhere to go it's kind of hard not to let them in."

Lawson credits her parents' tough love and strict adherence to boundaries with saving the lives of her and her brother, who also is recovering addict.
"It happens in great neighborhoods. I grew up in an awesome area, a great school, I went to church three times a week and it hit my brother and I right then and there," Lawson said. "That's what got me sober, my mom and dad, they said you have two options – you either go to rehab or you leave. And I left, for a long time."

"I finally was broken enough to go back to my parents and say 'OK, I'm going to go get help.'"

Now, each funeral of a friend and overdose of an acquaintance is an ominous reminder of her time using heroin.

"I do remember all those people who I've lost whenever I do get the urge," she said. "And I think I don't want to be that person, I don't, you know, for my parent's sake, for my kid's sake, for my sake, because I live a beautiful life."

Curry said communities and families need to be more educated on the threat of prescription drugs. The DEA often partners with schools and community groups to help raise this awareness.

"Heroin addiction is terrible, it's destructive, it's life-changing, life-altering," Curry said. "We see a progression from the prescription. We see the progression to the heroin. Now we're seeing pockets of this fentanyl-laced heroin coming up and making itself widely known."

"This is going to be a continuous problem until we curb this onset of addiction," she added. "It starts in the home, it starts in our communities and we as a community, as parents, as educators, can make the difference and we really should. We've got to do this before it's too late."

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Note: closing today's edition with this fun one.


Agents arrest 2 men convicted for sex crimes against children

http://www.douglasdispatch.com/news/agents-arrest-men-convicted-for-sex-crimes-against-children/article_d5576d8e-071a-11e6-8be5-b7c49ddaf9bb.html

23 hrs ago
Sergio Galaz-Coronado

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents recently arrested two male Mexican nationals previously convicted on charges relating to crimes against minors.

Agents first apprehended Sergio Galaz-Coronado, 38, outside of Douglas, on April 15. During a subsequent biometric-records check, agents found Galaz was arrested by the Maricopa County Sherriff's Office in 2001 for sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15. He was subsequently sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years of probation before being deported.

The following day, agents assigned to the Casa Grande Border Patrol Station arrested Esteban Aparicio-Molina, 32, outside of Cowlic, Arizona. He had served 12 years in prison for multiple charges relating to inappropriate sexual contact with a child, including sexual assault.

Both subjects, classified as aggravated felons for their prior convictions, face additional criminal charges and stiffer penalties for their illegal re-entry into the United States. They remain in Border Patrol custody pending the outcome of these proceedings.

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