Thursday, February 14, 2013



Note: our smugglers have managed to kill quite a few people here in
AZ over the past few years.

Pot smugglers thwarted by fatal crash
SUV hauling pot crashed on Tucson's southwest side Wednesday night,
killing a passenger.
3 hours ago • Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star

A man who was a passenger in a vehicle — apparently hauling marijuana
bales — was killed in a two-vehicle crash southwest of the city
Wednesday night, authorities said.

Deputies of the Pima County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to
the 7:15 p.m. crash in the intersection of South Sorrel Lane and West
Tetakusim Road, said Deputy Tom Peine, a sheriff's department spokesman.

A white SUV Ford Explorer was traveling east on Tetakusim Road, and a
Nissan car was headed south on Sorrell Lane when the vehicles
collided in the intersection, Peine said.

The SUV then struck a wall and came to rest on its roof in a front
yard of a house in the 7500 block of South Fitzwater Avenue, said
Peine. No one was injured at the house, he said.

Paramedics of the Drexel Heights Fire District took a woman, who was
driving the sedan, to a hospital, said Peine.

A helicopter airlifted a man in the SUV to a hospital, and another
man in the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene, Peine said.

Investigators found out that six people were traveling in the SUV,
and four got out of the vehicle after the crash.

A truck pulled up to the scene and the four people began to load what
appeared to be marijuana bales into the truck. Two people climbed
into the truck and left the area, and it is unknown what happened to
the other two, Peine said.

Inside the SUV, deputies found a burlap bag, which appeared to
contain marijuana, said Peine. A search of the vehicle had not been
done late Wednesday night.

Prisoner from Mexico arrested in Pinal County
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 7, 2013 - 2:28 pm

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- A man deported to Mexico after serving half of his
Arizona prison sentence has been arrested in Pinal County.

County Sheriff's officials said 52-year-old Ramon Montijo is being
held without bond.

They said he likely will be returned to prison to serve the remainder
of his sentence for an aggravated felony offense.

Sheriff's officials didn't immediately provide background on
Montijo's case and when he began his prison term.

They said a deputy on Tuesday stopped a pickup truck Montijo was

Authorities said the truck's registration noted that its mandatory
insurance was suspended by the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicle

The deputy also discovered that Montijo had an outstanding felony
probation warrant for his arrest.

Sheriff's officials didn't immediately know Thursday if Montijo had
an attorney for his case.

CBP data show dubious distinctions for RGV in immigrant
apprehensions, drug
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 1:08 pm
Posted on February 7, 2013
by Jacqueline Armendariz

McALLEN — Last fiscal year, the Rio Grande Valley was where the most
cocaine was seized in the continental U.S. and where the most non-
Mexican immigrants were apprehended in the nation.
The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector ranked second among the
Southwest sectors in overall illegal immigrant apprehensions and the
amount of seized marijuana, according to nationwide and regional data
released last week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the
umbrella organization within the Department of Homeland Security that
includes Border Patrol.
The CBP report shows Texas was the site of the most apprehensions and
drug seizures of any state in the Southwest.
"Texas has been leading in these categories for the last few years,"
CBP spokesman Phil Barrera said of apprehensions and drug seizures.
"We've been on the forefront for a while now."
CBP also noted a record number of flight hours — more than 5,700 —
conducted by its drone program, an increasingly controversial
subject. A bill that would make it illegal to use a drone to take
photos of private property without the owner's permission was
recently filed in the Texas Legislature. However, exceptions include
law enforcement operations and use over properties within 25 miles of
the U.S.-Mexico border. CBP said drones helped lead to the arrests of
143 people and the seizure of more than 66,000 pounds of drugs
The 2012 fiscal year — which began Oct. 1, 2011, and ended Sept. 30,
2012 — also saw the seizure of 2,200 pounds of methamphetamine at
South Texas ports of entry, including the Laredo area, CBP said,
representing a 116 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.
The agency's figures support recent findings from a report on South
Texas security and migration from the Washington Office on Latin
America (WOLA), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.
The WOLA report said drug trafficking has generally increased,
particularly marijuana in the Valley, and that authorities noted the
trend in attempts at smuggling liquid meth. Because marijuana is
typically bulkier than other drugs it is smuggled in rural areas,
while heroin, meth, cocaine generally go through ports of entry, the
report said. Border Patrol's sector covering Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands is where the most cocaine was seized last fiscal year
— about 5,888 pounds.
Tuscon, Ariz., was the only Border Patrol sector where there were
more illegal immigrant deaths and rescues and where there was more
marijuana seized than in the Valley sector. More than 1 million
pounds and 120,000 people were apprehended in the Tucson area, Border
Patrol said. The Valley saw 886,001 pounds of marijuana seized and
97,762 immigrants taken into Border Patrol custody.
WOLA said while fewer accusations of Border Patrol abuse of migrants
were reported in the area, migrant deaths have significantly
increased here.
CBP said a total of 150 immigrants died in the Valley, while 318 were
rescued in fiscal year 2012. In the Tucson area, 632 were rescued and
177 died during the same period, the agency said.
WOLA also noted while other areas of the border have seen a decrease
in apprehensions, that's not so for South Texas.
"The area we visited, however — especially the southernmost region
(the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector) — bucked this trend in
2012: it saw a sharp increase in the flow of migrants this year," the
WOLA report said.
More than half of apprehensions here — or 49,939 out of 97,762 total
— were people from places other than Mexico, known in law enforcement
jargon as "OTMs." These people were mostly Honduran, Guatemalan and
Salvadoran citizens, according to WOLA.
"For the first time in any U.S.-Mexico border sector, non-Mexicans
made up the majority of this year's annual total of apprehended
migrants in the Rio Grande Valley," the report said.
In comparison, the Tucson sector topped all other areas at 120,000
people apprehended, but only 17,697 of them were people from
countries other than Mexico, according to CBP.
WOLA said experts told them poverty and lack of employment
opportunities prompted Central Americans to travel to the U.S.
Migrants choose to cross through the state of Tamaulipas since it is
the shortest distance from Central America, despite frequent
instances of abuse at the hands of criminal groups there, the
organization said.
CBP also said nationwide the agency processed a 5 percent increase in
trade over the last fiscal year — $2.3 trillion.
Staffing along the border remains at an all-time high with more than
21,300 Border Patrol agents. The agency said 2,546 of them were in
the Valley sector, which includes the thousands of square miles that
extend east from Starr County to Brownsville and north to Corpus

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