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Tag: drug smugglers

Alarming Amount of Meth Disguised in Liquid Form Is Crossing Border

Seized liquid methamphetamine, via DEA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are crossing the border with an alarming amount of methamphetamine disguised in liquid form.

Federal authorities have found it in gas tanks, coolant containers, storage jugs, and bottles of water, pop and apple juice.

So far this fiscal year, feds have seized more than 141,000 pounds of meth, up from 68,585 the previous year.

After liquid meth crosses the border, drug dealers dehydrate it to return it to its crystal form.

“We have seen an increase in the methamphetamine seizures by various agencies to include DEA, DPS and Border Patrol, significant quantities of methamphetamine being smuggled,” Dante Sorianello, the assistant special agent in charge of the DEA in the San Antonio district, told News4SA.

Man Sentenced to Life for 2010 Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A sixth man convicted for his role in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, a Mexican gang member, was convicted by a jury in February of nine criminal counts, including first- and second-degree murder.

The case led to the discovery of the Fast and Furious scandal.

Terry was fatally shot during a firefight with a seven-men “rip crew” that robbed smugglers crossing the Arizona-Mexico border.

“A life sentence for Agent Terry’s murder cannot eliminate his family’s suffering. But it is our hope that this sentence brings some degree of comfort to Agent Terry’s family in knowing that the individuals responsible for his murder will be held accountable,” said Robert Brewer, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, according to AZCentral.com.

Roy Villareal, the chief patrol officer for Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, applauded the sentencing.

“Today brings us one step closer to justice for Agent Brian Terry’s murder,” Villareal said. “The sentencing brings a painful time closer to an end and serves as a reminder of the grave dangers our agents face in their selfless commitment to the safety of their communities and country.”

Eyes in the Sky: How CBP Combats Drug Smuggling with Blimps

A CBP blimp, via Donna Burton of CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Blimps hovering 10,000 feet above the U.S. border are helping combat drug smuggling operations.

Customs and Border Protection is using eight unmanned, unarmed blimps as eyes in the sky as part of the agency’s Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS).

“TARS is the most cost-efficient capability that we own,” Richard Booth, director of domain operations and integration for CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, says on CBP’s website. “TARS is like a low-flying satellite system, but cheaper to launch and operate.”

The blimps “fly like kites in the wind,” said Rob Brown, CBP program manager for TARS.

“Raising radar and other sensors to high altitude boosts surveillance range, and the physical sight of an aerostat is a visual deterrent to illegal activity in the air and on the ground,” Brown said.

Drug smugglers often fly low to avoid ground-based radar, but they can’t evade the blimps’ radar.

Mexico Comes Clean: Our Soldiers Were in Standoff with U.S. Border Patrol

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

After blanket denials, Mexican officials are admitting that two Mexican soldiers – not smugglers – were in a standoff with Border Patrol agents in January, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mexico had denied soldiers were involved but finally came clean about the Jan. 26 confrontation.

The soldiers claimed they were looking for drug smugglers.

But some question whether they were really helping drug cartels.

Drug Traffickers Increasingly Taking to High Seas to Avoid Driving Across U.S. Border

coast guard photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are a stubborn bunch.

When security is tight, smugglers find another way into the country.

The Associated Press reports that drug traffickers are increasingly using boats to reach the U.S.

They take the Pacific Ocean from Mexico and South America to California.

Smugglers likely are finding the task easier too because the Coast Guard – the only U.S. military service capable of making arrests so far offshore – lost a quarter of its operating costs last year.

 

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Border Patrol Says Mountaintop Drug Spotters Eluding Authorities Because of Rules of Engagement

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol told senators Tuesday that rules of engagement are too constraining and making it difficult to combat armed drug cartel spotters while atop U.S. mountains, the Washington Times reports.

Cartels traditionally send out spotters on U.S. territory to inspect border protection. 

Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said his agents can’t shoot the spotters like U.S. troops could in Afghanistan, for instance. The rules of engagement are much stricter on U.S. soil, Fisher said.

“The rules of engagement, what we call our ‘use of force,’ applies to individuals on the street or whether they’re up on a mountaintop,” he told the Senate panel.

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Two Border Patrol Agents Accused of Forcing Immigrants to Strip, Eat Marijuana, on Trial

 
 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Border Patrol agents accused of forcing drug smugglers to strip and eat marijuana are on trial this week on civil rights charges, the Huffington Post reports.

Authorities said the border patrol agents left the four undocumented immigrants, wearing nothing but their underwear, to fend for themselves in the cold desert in November 2008, Huffington Post wrote.

The agents did not arrest the alleged victims, Dario Castillo and Ramon Zuniga.

Castillo also faces a charge of tampering with a witness.

Border Patrol Urges Locals to Help Track Down Elusive Drug Smugglers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Not even 39-foot-high speed boats with 1,200 horsepower is enough for Border Patrol to hunt down all smugglers along the U.S. coast 36 miles north of Tijuana, Mexico, Fox News reports.

Agents are now asking for local residents to help in the hunt.

“We are actively pursuing this and we are asking for the public’s help because we can’t be everywhere,” agent Edward Cleary said during a Del Mar City Council meeting on Jan. 14, according to The Coast News.

The feds need more eyes looking out for boats that drop off drugs along the coast to getaway trucks, Fox News wrote.

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