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Tag: Arizona

Over-the-Top Flirting Raises Suspicions, Leads Border Patrol to $134K Worth of Cocaine

cocaine mercedes

Cocaine found in Mercedes, via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A jet-setting model thought she’d distract Border Patrol officers by flirting with them, but her actions were so over-the-top that they raised suspicions and ultimately led to her arrest.

Fox News Latino reports that they found $134,000 worth of cocaine insider the 39-year-old woman’s Mercedes at an Arizona border crossing.

Anett Pikula, 39, made officers suspicious because she was “overly talkative” during a preliminary inspection.

“Flirtation was what was going on” said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Garrett Reinhart.

A drug-sniffing dog led investigators to a secret compartment in the engine of her car, where 13 pounds of cocaine was bricked and shrink-wrapped.

“My whole life.. romance, suspense, drama, action, cartoons. Are true stories;) real life!!” she wrote on the top of her Instagram account.

Lawsuit Filed Against Border Patrol Agent over Fatal 2011 Shooting

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The controversial deadly shooting of a U.S. citizen by a Border Patrol agent in 2011 is headed to a civil trial in Douglas, Ariz. in what will be a closely watched case, the Arizona Daily Star reports. 

Carlos LaMadris was 19 when he was shot in the back while climbing a ladder back to Mexico. His family said he was peaceful and posed no risks to authorities to provoke Border Patrol Agent Lucas Tidwell.

“It’s not disputed that Tidwell shot and killed LaMadrid by four shots to his back as he was climbing the ladder propped up against the international fence,” said attorney Bill Risner. “It’s uncontradicted that Carlos did not himself use or attempted to use deadly force.”

The federal government argues the shooting was justified because the agent was under attack by rocks and he feared for his life.

No criminal charges have been filed against LaMadris.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Forced Make to Changes to Satisfy Obama’s Justice Department

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Ryan Reilley
Huffington Post
WASHINGTON —  Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio — the man who brands himself as “America’s toughest sheriff” and has launched an extensive investigation into whether President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen — will have to make some changes under a settlement with the federal government on Friday that would resolve some allegations that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office routinely violated the civil rights of Latinos.

The agreement, approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, would partially resolve the lawsuit, specifically the allegations that Arpaio’s office unlawfully detained Hispanic workers during worksite raids and violated their Fourth and 14th Amendment rights as well as the allegation that his office retaliated against critics in violation of the First Amendment.

Separately, the agreement would require Arpaio’s office to expand language access for Hispanics who are held in the county’s jails. Arpaio will still be headed to trial next month to resolve allegations in the lawsuit that his department targeted Latino drivers.

To read the full story click here. 

Mexican Immigrants Getting Injured at Alarming Rates by Jumping Border Fence

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The treacherous trek through the 100-degree desert may not be the most difficult challenge for many immigrants who are sneaking over the border from Mexico.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that an increasing number of people are getting injured trying to jump the border fence, which has been made higher in some areas.

As a result, hospitals are seeing numerous case of injured immigrants. Most of the injuries are to the feet, ankles and spine.

“It’s the same crossing through the wall or through the desert,” said Gilda Felix, director of the Juan Bosco immigrant shelter from Nogales. “Both are difficult and dangerous.”

The exact number of people getting injured from jumping the fence is unclear, but nearly 100 case were reported so far this year by two Mexican consulates.

Is Border Patrol’s Drone Program Really Worth the Money?

Manned aircraft was found to be far more effective and less costly.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Is the Border Patrol’s use of drone worth the money?

It’s a question raised and explored by a lengthy story in the Arizona Republic. 

The newspaper found that drones helped nab less than 3% of the drugs seized by agent over the past two fiscal years.

By comparison, look at the success rate of manned aircrafts: More than 99% of weapons, cash and meth seizures were by manned aircraft.

But to CBP, the drug seizures “are not an appropriate performance measure,” spokesman Carlos Lazo said, adding that the drones “detect illegal cross-border activity … on a daily basis.”

The drone program cost taxpayers $600 million, a figure that is on the rise.

The newspaper cites Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General to back up its assertion that the drones are too expensive.

The Arizona Republic concluded that “manned aircraft or other, less expensive drones could provide broader coverage than the Predator Bs have delivered, at a significantly lower cost.”

Residents Want Permission to Monitor Border Patrol Checkpoints from Just 20 Feet Away

Arivaca, AZ

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Border Patrol are making an unusual request: They want permission to monitor agents from 20 feet away.

Two residents of an Arizona town, Arivaca, filed a lawsuit last year, claiming the Border Patrol violates their First Amendment rights and bullies anyone who protests the checkpoint, the Associated Press reports.

An attorney for Border Patrol argued that checkpoints are not a public forum and having people monitor checkpoints would be dangerous.

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Honored with Statue at Station Named After Him

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol unveiled a statue honoring slain Agent Brian Terry on Saturday at the newly renamed Brin Terry Patrol Station in Bisbee, Ariz., Fox News reports.

“That iconic image of Brian carrying his BordTac team member on his shoulders represents everything good about Brian, his strength, his determination, his attention to detail, his love for the Border Patrol and his love for his fellow agents,” Terry’s cousin, Robert Heyer, said.

Terry was killed in a gun battle with members of a gang members, and federal officials later traced back one of the guns to the botched Operation Fast and Furious.

ACLU: Border Patrol Responsible for Chronic Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants

By ACLU Attorney James Lyall
Arizona Daily Star

For years, watchdog groups have issued report after report detailing the brutal conditions faced by children in Border Patrol custody. Since 2008, non-governmental aid organizations have documented at least 1,600 specific examples of children suffering abuse and inhumane environments in the Border Patrol’s detention facilities.

Border Patrol hold rooms are simply not designed for prolonged detention. There are no beds or showers, and detainees are denied recreation. Yet children, including infants and toddlers, are detained in these degrading conditions for days on end.

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and partner organizations submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of 116 unaccompanied immigrant children, alleging abuse and mistreatment in Border Patrol custody.

Many reported being denied blankets and bedding and being forced to sleep on the floors of unsanitary, overcrowded and frigid cells.

One quarter of these children reported physical abuse, and more than half reported various forms of verbal abuse. Roughly half of the children reported being denied medical care, including several who eventually required hospitalization. Eighty percent described inadequate provision of food and water, and nearly as many were detained by Border Patrol beyond the legally mandated 72-hour maximum.

To read more click here.

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