Ambush leaves two illegal immigrants dead
CREATED APR. 9, 2012
The ambush happened in a relatively remote area, but a prime
smuggling route because it's not too far from I-10 and major urban areas
Jo Bode, a neighborhood watch official in the area, says its not
unusual to find undocumented immigrants in her front yard.
This wash and nearby dirt roads near Eloy are considered a pathway
for illegal immigrants and people-smugglers.
ELOY, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - An ambush in a remote desert leaves two men---
trying to sneak into the country illegally---dead.
They were being smuggled through an area near Eloy, but just barely
inside Pima County.
The area is remote but still fairly close to major cities like
Phoenix and Tucson. That means it's a prime pathway for illegal
immigrants. Jo Bode is captain of the neighborhood watch group for
nearby Silverbell Estates. She has seen illegal immigrants turn up
in her front yard.
"Most of the time they want food or water or they want directions,
how to get to Phoenix, or how to get to Eloy or something like this.
But other than that, there's always a constant fear. There's been
houses broke into out here. There's been houses ransacked when
people were gone, they come home at night and they found the illegals
in their house and scared them out."
Bode knows a lot of the people she may encounter are just trying to
get a job and get ahead but worries more and more about dangerous
drug traffic too.
An incident Sunday shows how the danger can escalate.
As a pick up packed with illegal immigrants worked it way through a
dry wash an ambush group dressed in camouflage opened up with rifles.
Border Patrol and Police from Eloy and Coolidge rushed to the scene.
Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Peine says, "When they responded out
there they found a pickup truck with two deceased adult males. One
was in the bed of the truck and another one was located nearby in a
Pima County is handling the case because the crime scene is just over
the Pinal County line.
The incident is an example of why neighbors in the area carry guns
and watch out for each other.
Jo Bode says, "And it was much worse prior to the last, say, four
years. Efforts have been stepped up, thanks to (Pinal County)
Sheriff Paul Babeu and his task force in patrolling this area out
here and making it a safer place for us. But that's something that
changes on a day to day basis. They cannot be here 24/7."
There's been more and more talk in law enforcement about organized
rip crews that steal from other smugglers, but Pima Deputies are not
drawing any conclusions yet about whether that's what happened in
This idea of rip crews and border bandits figures into several recent
There's the case of Border patrol Agent Brian Terry who was killed in
a remote area near Rio Rico. That was in December 2010. He was part
of a special unit working to stop border bandits in that area.
There was also the case of a Shawna Forde, a woman trying to set up a
border militia. She was convicted in a case where she and some
others basically became a rip crew which busted into the home of a
man they suspected of dealing in drugs. They killed him and his nine
year old daughter and are serving time for those crimes now.