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Tag: Border

Homeland Security Searches for Drones Capable of Facial Recognition

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is looking to Silicon Valley for specially designed drones.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that officials met last week with technology entrepreneurs in search of small, light-weight drones that are easy to fly and can cover vast stretches of desert.

The drones also need to be able to provide images good enough to scan faces against a database for prior criminal history.

“There can be questions about how accurate that is and legitimate questions about how someone’s picture got into a database,” said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project.

Border Patrol currently uses drones, but the technology isn’t up to snuff, officials said.

Border Patrol Agents Find $600,000 Worth of Liquid Meth in Texas

These containers were filled with liquid meth.

These containers were filled with liquid meth.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents seized more than $600,000 worth of liquid methamphetamine in Eagle Pass, Texas, while conducting checkpoint operations.

San Angelo Live reports that canines alerted agents to possible narcotics in the vehicle.

“The profit from these narcotics are more important to the criminal organizations than the negative impact they have on communities,” said Acting Del Rio Sector Chief Matthew Hudak. “I commend our agents for their hard work and dedication in removing these drugs from our streets.”

The liquid meth was found in shampoo bottles.

The driver was arrested and turned over to the DEA.

Border Patrol Rescues Abandoned 2-Year-Old Girl Smuggled into U.S.

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Smugglers left behind a 2-year-old girl in Granjeno, Texas, where she was wearing a T-shirt with a phone number on it.

Border Patrol agents rescued the girl and apprehended 14 illegal immigrants who authorities believe had possession of the girl, KSAT.com reports.

The girl was from El Salvador, and her mother said a friend was supposed to bring her daughter to her.

“Smugglers are heartless criminals who have no regard for the lives of the people, no matter what age. This child was left in the hands of strangers to get smuggled across the border,” said Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr. “This case shows how smugglers continue to prey on the most vulnerable, treating them as contraband, using them for personal gain.”

Other Stories of Interest

Authorities Discover Massive U.S.-Mexico Drug Tunnel, Seize 1 ton of Cocaine

Part of the tunnel.

Part of the tunnel.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities discovered a massive drug-trafficking tunnel underneath the California-Mexico border, seizing one ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana and arresting six people.

“We believe this to be the longest tunnel that we have discovered in this district to date,” Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, told ABC News.

The cocaine was worth about $22 million.

The 800-yard tunnel began at a house in Tijuana and ended in the Otay Mesa neighborhood of San Diego.

“On the surface, few would ever suspect that traffickers were moving multiton quantities of cocaine and marijuana worth tens of millions of dollars in such an unassuming way, through this rabbit hole in the ground, in full view of the world around it,” Duffy said.

FBI Investigates Border Patrol-Involved Shooting in South Central Arizona

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a shooting involving Border Patrol agents in south central Arizona.

The incident happened while agents were tracking suspected marijuana smugglers, KPBS reports. 

One agent fired a weapon after being assaulted with rocks.

Border Patrol’s Office of Professional Responsibility also is investigating.

The Border Patrol has been criticized for its use of force in recent years.

So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents used their weapons six times.

Records indicate that agents were assaulted nearly 180 times.

Other Stories of Interest

Arizona Republic: Border Walls Are for Suckers, Donald Trump

By Lndia Valdez
Arizona Republica

The news brings us two recent examples of why border walls don’t work. Can someone alert Donald Trump?

Exhibit A comes from the Border Patrol, which issued a press release April 6 asking people to be on the lookout for drones.

“The Yuma Sector Border Patrol has recently encountered small remote controlled aircraft, commonly referred to as drones, being used to smuggle drugs into the United States. The drones vary in size, but are commonly between 2 to 4 feet wide,” it says.

“Drones have been observed primarily in the San Luis area,” the press release continues. “They are known to carry illegal contraband into the U.S. where it is dropped and picked up by smugglers north of the border.”

They included a picture of a drone so everyone would know what to look for. No word on whether the drone in the picture was one captured at the border.

Here’s the rub: The Yuma Sector is the go-to place when border-hawk politicians want to point to a place where fencing has led to “operational control.”

Guess what? The smugglers figured out a way over.

Exhibit B in this tutorial on why walls don’t work comes from a widely viewed video showing would-be smugglers easily scaling a border fence – in full view of Border Patrol agents – then skedaddling back into Mexico when they realize they were being filmed, according to the Associated Press.

Border Patrol spokesman Mark Landess told AP it’s not uncommon for smugglers to scale the steel fence, especially around Nogales, which is a busy drug-smuggling corridor.

To read more click here. 

NYT: Border Patrol Makes Bizarre Choice Endorsing Donald Trump for President

Border PatrolBy Editorial Board
New York Times

Turn away, for a moment, from the generalized idiocy of the presidential campaign to consider a specific instance of monumental dimness. It happened Wednesday.

The National Border Patrol Council, which says it represents 16,500 border agents, endorsed Donald Trump. It says it has never endorsed a presidential candidate in a primary before, but these are dire times.

“There is no greater physical or economic threat to Americans today than our open border,” says the endorsement, signed by the council’s president, Brandon Judd. The union “asks the American people to support Mr. Trump in his mission to finally secure the border of the United States of America, before it is too late.”

Too late for what? The collapse of America, apparently, from the “gangs, cartels and violent criminals preying on the innocent.”

It’s tempting to dismiss this as the usual politicized cop-talk, par for today’s course. But it’s far more dangerous and fraudulent than that. The lies behind it have preoccupied the country for a generation, consuming billions of dollars for miles of walls, razor wire, drones, sensors and a surge of agents and troops.

Despite the union’s apocalyptic warnings, the border is more militarized than ever, and arrests there are at historic lows. Illegal immigration has been falling for years. More Mexicans are leaving the country than entering. President Obama, far from abandoning immigration enforcement, has deported more people — more than two million — more quickly than his predecessors. A recent migrant influx in Texas consists of terrorized mothers and children fleeing Central America, trying legally to seek asylum. They deserve protection and the due process of law, not the administration’s aggressive efforts to deter and deport them.

To read more click here. 

Border Patrol Releases Photos of Latest Cross-Border Tunnel Discovered

Latest cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities. All photos by Border Patrol.

Latest cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities. All photos by Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican authorities found a border tunnel in Nogales that stretched about 80 feet from Mexico to the United States.

The tunnel, which authorities said was “incomplete,” extended about 30 feet into the U.S.

The first illicit cross-border tunnel was discovered in Douglas in 1990. Since then, Border Patrol said it investigates more than 115 tunnels – all but five in the Nogales areas.

“The tunnels, typically primitive in nature, are generally used by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle narcotics into the United States,” the Border Patrol said. “Agents put themselves in dangerous, unnerving situations when they investigate tunnels.”

Here are photos, taken by Border Patrol, of the latest tunnel discovery.

border tunnel5

The pink marking indicates an access point.

Digging tools in the tunnel.

Digging tools in the tunnel.

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