Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Note: some trends The MI-17 doesn't come down that easy.

Drug gunmen force down Mexican police helicopter
The Associated Press
Posted: 05/25/2011 09:07:43 AM MDT

MORELIA, Mexico—Mexican police say one of their helicopters was
forced to land after drug cartel gunmen opened fire on the craft,
wounding two officers.
Federal police say the gunfire from the ground wounded two officers
aboard the Russian-made MI-17 helicopter.
The police statement says the pilot decided to land about 3.5 miles
(6 kilometers) from the scene of the attack in the western state of
Police said late Tuesday that the two officers suffered non-life-
threatening wounds.
The attack occurred earlier Tuesday near the city of Apatzingan, one
of the main territories of the La Familia drug cartel.

Mexican state vows legal action against rumors
Posted: 05/25/2011 01:07:08 AM MDT

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (AP) - The government of Mexico's Gulf coast
state of Tabasco is threatening legal action against people who
spread rumors of drug violence on social networking sites.
Some of the tweets and Facebook posts cited by the government appear
threatening. Other posts that warn people not to go out because there
is a supposed "curfew" could fall under laws prohibiting threats.
But some of the cited posts appear to simply refer to gunfights that
have killed people in the area recent days.
A state government statement Tuesday says authorities are tracing
messages and will "act with all the weight of the law" against posters.
Tabasco officials refuse to specify what laws have purportedly been
violated or what
charges could be brought.

Note: guess they didn't get the memo from DHS that the border more

Drophouse in west Phoenix has more than 100 people, federal agents say
by Daniel Gonzalez and Shala Marks - May. 25, 2011 01:18 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

Federal authorities on Wednesday discovered one of the largest
drophouses in years in a west Phoenix neighborhood.

More than 100 people believed to be in the country illegally were
packed in a house on the 9000 block of West Vernon Avenue, north of
McDowell Road, said Vincent Picard, spokesman for Immigration and
Customs Enforcement of Phoenix. Among the people were five teenagers
and 14 women, Picard said. The men and women came from Mexico, El
Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Authorities received a tip about 10:30 a.m. about suspicious activity
around the home, which is east of 91st Avenue.

Neighbors reported seeing several vehicles coming in and out of the
home Wednesday, Picard said. Authorities suspected the vehicles were
bringing in loads of illegal immigrants. Authorities have identified
people they believe to be suspected smugglers, Picard said.
The conditions in the home were poor because so many people were
there. Neighbors said the home is about 1,300 square feet and the
area is typically quiet.

Most of the suspected illegally immigrants had clothes that were
dirty and sweat stained, indicating they might have just crossed the

Federal authorities have brought in two large Department of Homeland
Security buses to the house and are putting the suspected illegal
immigrants, who are cuffed with plastic ties, on to the buses.

Sheriff's employees in smuggling case get high bond
by JJ Hensley - May. 25, 2011 12:28 PM
The Arizona Republic

Four of the 11 people arrested Tuesday in a Maricopa County Sheriff's
operation were denied bond because of their immigration status.

Another five suspects apprehended in the operation, including the
sheriff's deputy suspected of smuggling humans and working with drug
traffickers, had bonds set at $1 million or more during their initial
court appearances Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Office arrested Deputy Alfredo Navarrette and two
sheriff's detention officers, Sylvia Najera and Marcella Hernandez,
at the culmination of yearlong probe into an alleged heroin
trafficking and human-smuggling ring.

The accused leader of the ring, identified by authorities as
Francisco Arce Torres, was denied bond along with three other
defendants under an Arizona law that does not allow judges to set
bonds for suspected illegal immigrants.

Hernandez, who is suspected of money laundering and conspiring to
commit drug crimes, was given a $2 million bond, with investigators
noting in court paperwork that Hernandez expressed a desire to move
to Mexico with Torres.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference Tuesday that Hernandez
is eight months' pregnant with the child of another suspect,
Francisco "Lorenzo" Arce-Torres, who is described in court records as
a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel and the leader of the Phoenix-
based drug-trafficking organization at the heart of the probe.

Navarrette, a 10-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office and a former
member of the Sheriff Joe Arpaio's human-smuggling unit, was given a
$1 million bond. He is accused of taking part in the conspiracy,
which included smuggling undocumented immigrants from Arizona to
other states.

Najera, the other sheriff's employee arrested Tuesday, was granted a
$36,000 bond. She is accused of money laundering and other crimes
related to the drug-trafficking organization.

Hugo Mejia, the owner of a Phoenix construction company who is
accused of setting up a corporation with Najera for the purpose of
laundering money, was given a $200,000 in his initial court appearance.

The Sheriff's Office said the investigation into the drug-trafficking
and human-smuggling operation is ongoing and more sheriff's employees
were being interviewed to determine what they knew of the trafficking

Note: bet the cmte members never been in that line. the locals are
right on this one, more trade, more jobs.

State committee unmoved by calls to help fix border line problem
By Hank Stephenson
Published Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:35 PM CDT

Three local businessmen testified before a state border security
committee on Wednesday to ask for help in improving wait times at the
Nogales ports of entry, but Republican lawmakers on the committee
expressed skepticism that the long waits are, in fact, a problem.

The businessmen – representing the produce, retail and logistics
industries – told members of the Interim Joint Border Security
Committee that wait times at the border are out of control. The
problem is affecting their bottom lines, as well as the bottom lines
of the city, county and state, they said.

They asked the committee for assistance in lobbying the federal
government to increase U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffing at
the Nogales ports, and though several members were receptive to their
message, Sen. Al Melvin, a Republican from Tucson and co-chairman of
the committee, said he's not interested in adding more government

Committee members Sen. Gail Griffin and Rep. David Stevens, both
Republicans who represent Nogales and Rio Rico, were only slightly
more sympathetic. They said they would support what would essentially
be a postcard to Congress asking for more CBP officers.

Stevens said he realizes the economic impact of long border lines,
but said he has crossed the border in recent years and an hour-and-a-
half wait isn't unreasonable.

The Nogales businessmen who spoke to the committee were Jaime
Chamberlain, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the
Americas; J.B. Manson, chair of the Nogales Santa Cruz Port
Authority; and Bruce Bracker, partner at Bracker's Department Store.

See Friday's Nogales International for a full report.

Note: just had to include this one, but they didn't say nothing
about no spin. Check out the sponsors. BTW, many of our sources
live on the border also. Both sides.

Bus line offering tours of border
By Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
9:00 am | Comments

Bob Feinman, right, of Humane Borders, talks about U.S.-Mexico border
security to the tour group while standing near a portion of the
border wall in Nogales, Ariz. Feinman led the group on a bus tour
called "Border Crisis: Fact and Fiction," which is billed as an
apolitical tour that will give people a chance to see for themselves
the truth about living on the border.

If you go

• Call Gray Line Tours of Tucson and ask for Chris DeSimone,
520-622-8811, ext. 3122
• Information also is available at
• Tours are expected to take place about twice a month, and can also
be scheduled on specific dates for groups of sufficient size. The
tours cost $75 per person for the standard bus or $89 per person for
a luxury touring van. Lunch is included. A portion of the proceeds go
to the Santa Cruz Community Foundation and Humane Borders.

NOGALES, Ariz. - An increased Border Patrol presence has improved
security on his border ranch, Dan Bell tells the visitors. Then Bell
adds he still lives with uncertainty because of the armed smugglers
he encounters.
About 70 percent of the winter produce that enters the U.S. crosses
through the Nogales ports of entry, Lance Jungmeyer, president of the
Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, explains. But an
insufficient number of port inspectors could push some of that
business out of Arizona, he warns.
From the historic Rock Corral Ranch south of Tubac where he lives,
Dr. William Neubauer said emphatically that he feels no danger living
near the border.
The 12 people aboard the inaugural run Tuesday of the bus tour called
"Border Crisis: Fact and Fiction" were given a chance to form their
own opinions about the U.S. border region by hearing from people who
live and work here.
The tour also included up close views of the port of entry and border
fence in Nogales and a Humane Borders water tank near Arivaca.
"Take your own fact-finding mission on the U.S.-Mexico border," the
promotional pamphlet from Gray Line Tours says. "Don't let the
politicians and news broadcasters become your only source of
Gray Line Tours of Tucson organized the excursion in conjunction with
Humane Borders and the Santa Cruz Community Foundation. The trips
will be offered twice a month, or upon request for large groups. The
all day tours, which include lunch, cost $75 per person.
"It's been very informative," said Ruth McClung, a Tucson engineer
who opposed U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva in the 2010 Congressional
District 7 election. "It's always interesting to hear from people
that live down here and do business down here."
John and Judy McCaleb have lived in Tucson since the mid-1970s but
said they wanted to learn more about what really happens on the border.
"You hear so many diverse tales. The only way to decide what's true
is to come down and see it for yourself, said John McCaleb, who along
with his wife owns McCaleb Construction, a remodeling company.
They enjoyed the day and said that anybody with interest in border
issues should take the tour.
"The best compliment I can give is that I could spend two days doing
this," John McCaleb said.
Tour guide Bob Feinman - a member of the Santa Cruz Community
Foundation and Humane Borders - emphasized several times that the
excursion was designed to be apolitical.
"We do not want you to feel we are twisting your arm," Feinman said.
"The idea is that you find out for yourself. If your local elected
official can have a fact-finding mission, why can't you?"
Feinman succeeded in maintaining his political neutrality as guide,
but the tour was too heavy on residents trying to convince the
participants the border region is safe and would be better with a
presentation from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Jennifer
Leslie, Arizona director of Smart Girl Politics, a conservative
women's movement.
Leslie and friend Chayah Masters said they enjoyed the day but that
it may be hard to convince people it's worth spending $75 without
presentations from federal officials.
"I don't know who they are going to market this to," Masters said.
As is the case with many maiden voyages, the tour had a few hiccups.
After lunch in Rio Rico at the Fresh Produce Association offices, the
group boarded a smaller bus to go see the border fence east of
Nogales. But the bus was too heavy to make it all the way up a steep
hill. The participants got out and walked a few hundred feet to the
No one was complaining, but Felipe Garcia, of the Metropolitan Tucson
Convention and Visitors Bureau, offered a suggestion:
"On the next tour, schedule lunch after this part of the tour," said
Garcia, laughing.
Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or

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