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Tag: Arizona

DEA: 30+ People Died in County in Arizona from Counterfeit Painkillers

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA said more than 30 people died in Maricopa County in Arizona from counterfeit oxycodone pill laced with fentanyl.

The county confirmed 32 deaths from black-market pill between March 2015 to February 2017, the Arizona Republic reports

The DEA said the counterfeit pills were manufactured in Mexico and smuggled into the U.S.

“What we have is a rapidly expanding opioid-based drug addiction in the country, and we have Mexican drug cartels adjusting to push dangerous drugs on streets,” said Doug Coleman, special agent in charge of the DEA in Arizona. “…They think they’re taking oxy, but they’re actually taking fentanyl, and it’s lights out.”

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to 13+ Years for Smuggling Cocaine

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent was sentenced to more than 13 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges that he tried to smuggle cocaine in Arizona.

Juan Pimentel, of Rio Rico, was arrested in November 2015 after authorities say he thought he was smuggling 110 pounds of cocaine, the Associated Press reports. He actually was unwittingly part of a sting operation and was carrying a white powder.

Pimentel, who also pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe by a public official, took cash in exchange for looking up a license plate from a database used only by law enforcement.

Pimentel served as an agent in Arizona since 2001 before resigning after his arrest.

Border Patrol Continues Search for Canine That Went Missing on Feb. 20

Dunja has been missing since

Dunja has been missing since Feb. 20.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol canine that went missing during a tracking operation in Arizona on Feb. 20 has not been found.

Dunja, a dog used by the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, was separated from his handler during an operation on the Tohono O’odham Nation near Papago Farms, Tucson News Now reports. 

Agents continue to search for Dunja, who is 4 years old and has worked with the Border Patrol since August 2016.

The Tucson Sector has more than 100 canines.

The dogs can fetch up to $10,000 because they are already trained.

“They do go through several weeks of training,” said  Daniel Hernandez, spokesman with the Tucson sector. “The canines become a team within the agent and they spend a very long time together as a partner. Conducting all kinds of simulations at the training facility. So there is a huge bond between the canine and the handler.”

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agents Discover Catapult Used to Smuggle Drugs

A catapult found at the Mexico-Arizona border, via CBP.

A catapult found at the Mexico-Arizona border, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found a catapult that smugglers were using to throw bundles of marijuana over the Mexican border in Arizona.

Agents on patrol near the Douglas Port Entry discovered the device on Feb. 10, The Arizona Republic reports. 

Several people who were seen near the catapult fled upon seeing the agents.

Agents found two bundles of marijuana that weighed nearly 50 pounds.

Mexican authorities seized the catapult.

Border Patrol Agent Assaulted, Nearly Stabbed by Undocumented Immigrant

border patrol helicopterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An undocumented immigrant assaulted and nearly stabbed a Border Patrol agent near Tucson on Tuesday night.

The attack happened as the Border and Air and Marine Operations were responding to a report of roughly 10 migrants walking in the desert, the Arizona Republic reports.

Using a helicopter as a guide, agents located the group.

When an agent tried to stop a fleeing migrant, he was nearly stabbed when the man pulled out a knife. The agent’s handheld radio was stabbed, potentially saving him.

The co-pilot of a helicopter helped subdue and arrest the man.

The agent wasn’t seriously injured.

Other Stories of Interest

Two Teens Charged with Shooting Out Window of Border Patrol Vehicle

border-patrol-struckBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two teenage boys accused of shooting a Border Patrol vehicle near Sierra Vista, Ariz., have been charged with endangerment and felony criminal damage.

The boys, who are 15 and 16, shot out a window in the Border Patrol vehicle on Dec. 30, according to a CBP release.

No one was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, and no one was injured.

The shooter managed to escape capture until their parents contacted the local sheriff’s office after recognizing the boys in a photo released to the public.

Other Stories of Interest

Lawsuit: Border Patrol Destroyed Surveillance of Conditions at Detention Facilities

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials are accused in a lawsuit of destroying surveillance footage of poor conditions inside detention facilities in Arizona.

The National Immigration Law Center filed a motion Monday that alleged Border Patrol knowingly recorded over videos and handed over unwatchable footage, BuzzFeed reports. 

“This is yet another example of an agency going out of its way to keep the horrible conditions in these facilities out of the public eye,” Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for NILC, told BuzzFeed News.

Border Patrol officials declined to comment.

The facilities are used for detainees who are caught illegally crossing the border.

Photos released in August showed poor conditions at the facilities.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Found Dead After Shooting at Officers in Arizona

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was killed Monday night after an exchange of gunfire with police, who were responding to a domestic violence incident at his home in Maricopa, Ariz.

The couple’s 10-year-old daughter called 911 to report the domestic disturbance, according to 12News. 

The agent was identified as Jeremy Russo, 40.

Russo is accused of shooting at police as they arrived to his home.

One officer shot at Russo, and the rest of the family was able to safely flee the home.

SWAT officers sent a robot inside the home, where Russo was found dead in a closet.

“Before we went to bed, we heard shooting,” said Bonnie Kevicki, who lives around the corner from the scene. “I thought it was a gas explosion when the smash and boom went on about 12:30.”

Russo, who joined the agency in 2011, was assigned to the Casa Grande Border Patrol Station.

Police said it’s unclear whether Russo died from the officer’s fire or from a self-inflicted gunshot.

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