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Tag: Arizona

Border Patrol Agents Accused of Sabotaging Water, Supplies for Migrants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage containers of water and other supplies placed in the Arizona desert to save the lives of thirsty migrants overcome by heat exhaustion and dehydration, according to two humanitarian groups.

The Tucson-based groups claim the agents are essentially delivering a death sentence to people trekking the dangerously hot landscape in a shameless effort to crack down on people who illegally cross into the U.S. from Mexico, the Guardian reports

Volunteers identified more than 400 vandalized water containers along an 800-square-mile patch of Sonoran desert near Tucson from March 2012 to December 2014, according to the report, published by No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos

The groups also accused Border Patrol agents of vandalizing food and blankets and intimidating human rights volunteers.

“Through statistical analysis, video evidence, and personal experience, our team has uncovered a disturbing reality. In the majority of cases, US border patrol agents are responsible for the widespread interference with essential humanitarian efforts,” the study found.

The study added, “The practice of destruction of and interference with aid is not the deviant behavior of a few rogue border patrol agents, it is a systemic feature of enforcement practices in the borderlands.”

Steve Passament, a border patrol spokesman in the Tucson sector, said the agency strongly opposes sabotaging humanitarian supplies and plans to discipline any agents who risk the lives of human beings.

Other Stories of Interest

Head of DEA’s Phoenix Division Faces Discipline over Relationship with Subordinate

Phoenix DEA Special Agent in Charge Douglas Coleman, via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Douglas Coleman, the head of the Phoenix Division of the DEA, could soon be disciplined after an internal investigation concluded he had an “unprofessional personal relationship” with a subordinate.

The Justice Department Office of the Inspector General recently issued a scathing report about the relationship between Coleman and his administrative assistant and division spokeswoman Erica Curry, the Arizona Family reports

The investigation found that the self-described “best friends” engaged in an inappropriate romantic relationship that created the appearance of favoritism. Coleman, for example was Curry’s boss when she received bonuses, promotions, special accommodations and questionably high travel expenses.

The investigation concluded Coleman’s conduct amounted to misuse of office and the failure to maintain high standards of personal conduct.

With the report in hand, the DEA must now decide whether Coleman should be disciplined.

“The matter remains ongoing within the DEA disciplinary system and we cannot comment at this time,” a DEA spokeswoman said.

Yuma Border Patrol Agents Involved in Crazy Chase, Hijacking, Fatal Shooting

yuma-shooting-border-patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents were involved in a fatal shooting after two high-speed chases, several exchanges of gunfire and the hijacking of a commercial truck in Arizona.

The shooting suspect was killed after firing his weapon numerous times at law enforcement officials.

The violence began at 12:56 a.m., when a state trooper pulled over a Ford Mustang for a traffic violation, KSWT reports. The front-seat passenger shot at a trooper and then fled with the Mustang along I-10.

After a 6-mile chase, the Mustang stopped before the suspect fired at Border Patrol agents, fled on foot and hijacked a commercial truck.

The suspect drove the truck along I-10 before exiting, exchanging fire with law enforcement and heading toward Main Street, where the vehicle stopped.

The suspect and law enforcement exchanged fire. The suspect was struck by a bulett and later died.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Discovered 30,000 Counterfeit Pills Laced with Deadly Fentanyl

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and Tempe Police Department seized about 30,000 counterfeit pills containing the powerful and deadly opioid fentanyl.

Local and federal authorities said the pills, discovered Sunday during a traffic stop, are tied to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Tucson News Now reports. 

“This massive seizure removed thousands of potentially lethal doses of this powerful narcotic off the streets,” said Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona. “DEA will never relent in its pursuit of Mexican cartels who manufacture huge quantities of fake oxycodone pills using fentanyl.”

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is much more powerful than heroin, is to blame for thousands of deaths a year.

The counterfeit pills were made to look like oxycodone.

Authorities said Mexican cartels are lacing pills with fentanyl, which is cheaper and easier to produce.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol to Test New Drones in Arizona, Texas And Vermont

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol plans to test new drones in Arizona, Texas and Vermont in September as part of an increased effort to curb illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

The different models range from quadcopters that are capable of flying for 30 minutes to larger aerial vehicles that can stay airborne for hours, Arizona Public Media reports

Border Control currently uses large drones that are flown out of an airstrip at Fort Huachuca in Cochise County.

No specifics were given about the time and locations of the tests.

Other Stories of Interest

Emergency Camp for Migrants Shuts Down After Border Patrol Raids

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Saying they can no longer guarantee a temporary shelter for migrants in Arizona, a humanitarian group closed a medical aid camp for people who cross the border.

The decision comes after Border Patrol agents raided the camp and made arrests, NPR reports

“Our clinic space being compromised will directly lead to more suffering and more death in this desert,” said aid worker Geena Jackson.

The camp is about 15 miles of the Mexico border and includes water stations, medics and makeshift shelters. A handmade sign now warns migrants that the camp is closed.

Under previous presidents, migrant camps were rarely raided. But President Trump’s administration has done away with past practices in an aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration.

Border Patrol Finds Pounds of Cocaine Taped to Woman’s Chest

The 21-year-old woman tried to hide cocaine by taping it to her chest and stomach, via Border Patrol.

The 21-year-old woman tried to hide cocaine by taping it to her chest and stomach, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even in the days of breast augmentation, Border Patrol agents weren’t fooled by the bulging chest of a 21-year-old woman who had taped about eight pounds of cocaine to her chest and stomach.

At the Morley Pedestrian Gate at the border between Arizona and Mexico, agents wanted a closer look at what was behind the Tucson resident’s strangely bulging shirt.

After a drug-sniffing dog also shared its suspicions, a secondary inspection found about $135,000 worth of cocaine stuffed in her shirt.

The woman, whose identity wasn’t immediately released, was arrested.

Other Stories of Interest

Arizona Aid Group Says Border Patrol Raid Endangered Lives of Ill Migrants

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have long abided by an informal agreement to allow migrants to seek medical attention at a camp in the Arizona desert to prevent more deaths of people crossing the border.

But that has changed under the Trump administration after 15 trucks and about 30 agents raided the camps and detained four immigrants Thursday, the Associated Press reports. 

The crackdown prompted volunteers with the aid group, No More Deaths/No Mas Muertas, to say the “staged military siege” endangered the lives of undocumented immigrants.

‘‘The type of operation they are doing, for me, is unprecedented,’’ said Catherine Gaffney, a longtime volunteer for the group.

Although the group asked Border Patrol for more time to treat immigrants with heart-related illnesses, agents swarmed the camp anyway.

One of those captured had a prior felony conviction for drug possession and had previously been deported.

‘‘They didn’t need 30 agents to apprehend four sick people,’’ Gaffney said.

Border Patrol said the four men were taken to the hospital but were in good condition.