Tuesday, December 16, 2014



Note: This one from a few days ago, but important. Infiltration of U.S, especially border states, law enforcement a factor in this? Infiltration yet another reason that citizen's many calls about drop houses, etc. receive no response?

Document missing in corruption case
by Jacques Billeaud, Associated Press
Posted on December 10, 2014 at 8:22 PM
Updated Thursday, Dec 11 at 7:40 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- A key document is missing in the corruption case against three former sheriff's office employees accused of helping drug smugglers.

The three former officers for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office are accused of helping smuggle heroin from Mexico into metro Phoenix and launder its illegal proceeds through the bank accounts of two companies. One of the suspects was once a member of Arpaio's elite immigration squad.

The case relied heavily on a wiretap, but a document completed by investigators to secure the court-ordered surveillance has vanished, Herman Alcantar, an attorney for one of the former officers, told The Associated Press. In response, Alcantar has asked a judge to toss key evidence, and prosecutor Lindsey Coates told the defense attorney last month in an email that "the plan is to potentially dismiss this case entirely."

The key suspect, former Deputy Alfredo Aguirre Navarrette, could still face charges of insurance fraud and arson for allegedly causing a fire to a car in 2010.

Another prosecutor who has since been assigned to the case sent a follow-up email saying the search for the records continues and that the disappearance of the document is being taken seriously.

Alcantar, who represents Navarrette, said dismissing the case may seem like a legal technicality, but such documents by law enforcement are necessary to protect the public from abuse.

No explanation has been offered on how the document might have disappeared or who is responsible. The sheriff's office had no immediate comment Wednesday on the possibility of the case being dismissed.

The case has served as an embarrassment to Arpaio's office since the three employees were arrested in 2011. In addition, a judge presiding over an unrelated racial profiling case against the agency has grown increasingly frustrated over what he said were inadequate internal investigations into wrongdoing by the sheriff's immigrant smuggling squad.

Navarrette, a one-time member of the smuggling squad, is accused of driving smuggling vehicles, laundering money and using a police database to pass information along to ring members.

He also was accused of assisting a separate immigrant smuggling group by operating a stash house and transporting immigrants in the country illegally from Arizona to California on at least five occasions. Authorities say Navarrette, while out on bail, was pulled over while driving a suspected immigrant smuggling vehicle. He has been jailed since.

The internal investigation was launched in 2010 after a confidential informant told police that Navarrette was seen snorting cocaine and bragging about his work for the drug ring while at a party.

Former jail officers Marcella Marie Hernandez and Sylvia Rios Najera were accused of helping launder the ring's drug proceeds. Investigators say the Phoenix-based ring was operated by Francisco Arce Torres, who was working with a high-ranking Sinaloa drug cartel figure. Eleven people have already pleaded guilty in the case.

At the time of her arrest, Hernandez was pregnant with Torres' child.

Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County attorney's office, which is prosecuting the three former sheriff's employees, declined to comment. A message left for Torres' attorney, Jason Squires, wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

AP Newsbreak: Case against ex-officers in jeopardy

PHOENIX (AP) -- A corruption case against three former employees of an Arizona sheriff's office accused of helping drug smugglers while they worked for the agency is in danger of being thrown out after a key document in the case has turned up missing.

The three former officers for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office are accused of helping a ring that moved heroin from Mexico into metro Phoenix and laundered its illegal proceeds.

One of the former officers has asked a judge to toss the case after prosecutors revealed that a document completed by investigators as a condition of getting court authorization for the electronic recordings is missing.

A prosecutor then raised the possibility of throwing out nearly all of the case, though authorities are continuing to search for the document.

Read more: http://www.azfamily.com/news/APNewsBreak-Document-missing-in-corruption-case-285445601.html#ixzz3M0SHXGXS

Note: No we did not make this up. "within days"

Border fence knocked down by storm repaired
December 15, 2014 @ 6:54 pm


TUCSON, Ariz. — A section of the steel fence that divides the U.S. and Mexico has been repaired several months after debris from a rainstorm knocked it down.

U.S. Border Patrol spokeswoman Nicole Ballistrea says the repairs were completed Friday on the 60 feet of rebar-reinforced fencing just west of the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona.

Agents discovered the downed fence in July after heavy rain in Nogales, Sonora, caused debris to build up against the fence, toppling it. The fence stood between 18 and 26 feet high and extended at least 7 feet underground.

The fence was built in 2011. It is constantly monitored by agents because smugglers and others who attempt to cross illegally routinely try to breach or knock down parts of it.

Ballistrea said the cost of the repairs was unavailable Monday.

The storm also sent debris through the fallen fence into Nogales, Arizona, damaging some homes and businesses.

Contractors hired by the Border Patrol could not begin repairs immediately because the ground remained wet for several weeks.

The fallen fence was discovered the same week agents found a garage-sized hole that had been cut into fencing near Nogales, Arizona.

That part of the fence was repaired within days, Ballistrea said.


Note: Didn't make this one up either.

Jeh Johnson: Deportation amnesty allows DHS to get serious about border
During an intense grilling session on Capitol Hill, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Updated: 8:40 a.m. on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday that President Obama's deportation amnesty gives his department a chance to get serious about border security, freeing it up to put more resources on the border instead of tracking illegal immigrants inside the U.S.

In a statement prepared for delivery in Texas, where he was visiting a new detention facility, Mr. Johnson vowed to try to prevent a repeat of last summer, when tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children traveling alone, and tens of thousands more families traveling together, jumped the border, overwhelming his department.

He announced three new task forces he said will coordinate border control efforts across the three agencies that handle immigration, and said that should convince smugglers and would-be illegal immigrants not to try crossing.

"The message should be clear: As a result of our new emphasis on the security of the southern border, it will now be more likely that you will be apprehended; it will now be more likely that you will be detained and sent back; and it will now be more likely that your hard-earned money to smuggle a family member to the United States will be seized and will never reach its intended source," Mr. Johnson said.

His remarks did not address the 40 percent of illegal immigrants who are believed to come legally into the interior of the U.S. and then overstay their visas.

Mr. Johnson, a former defense department lawyer, will spearhead Mr. Obama's new amnesty, which carves most illegal immigrants out of any danger of deportation. Many of those illegal immigrants will be given proactive amnesty from deportation for three years and will be entitled to work permits as well.

The administration argues that its amnesty gives it a chance for a do-over, saying if agents don't have to focus on most illegal immigrants in the interior, they can target serious criminals and more recent illegal immigrants at the border.

Critics counter that by announcing an amnesty, Mr. Obama is inviting a new wave of illegal immigration — something Mr. Obama himself warned about a few years ago, when he declined to take the steps he's now taken.

Mr. Johnson testified to Congress earlier this month that he disagrees with that prediction and has vowed to step up border security to try to head off a new surge.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/15/jeh-johnson-deportation-amnesty-allows-dhs-get-ser/#ixzz3M5DFtNCy


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