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Tag: smugglers

Central Americans Rush to Cross Border Because of Trump’s Threat to Build a Wall

Border Fence in the DesertBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall has triggered a surge of Central American families flowing into the U.S.  to escape poverty and warlike conditions.

Smugglers are telling migrants they better cross the border soon before the wall is erected, the Boston Globe reports. 

For Smugglers, fears of Trump building a wall have been a selling point.

To handle the influx, the U.S. sent 150 additional agents to Texas to shore up the border.

The Globe writes:

Here at the border, the obstacles to Trump’s plans appear daunting. To hold, quickly process, and deport the tens of thousands of arrivals each month, the Trump administration would have to add scores of immigration judges and dramatically expand detention facilities, which have faced legal challenges. A wall could cost billions.

Some here welcome a Trump crackdown. Many Border Patrol agents resent what they see as a ‘‘catch-and-release’’ approach to the flood of Central Americans. To them, Trump’s win has delivered the morale-boosting equivalent of a Red Bull.

‘‘We’re going to be able to do our jobs again,’’ said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent and a spokesman for their union, which endorsed Trump for president.

‘‘We’ve turned into a detention agency,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re not out there enforcing. We’re doing jailer work and sometimes babysitting.’’

But analysts, lawyers and elected officials on both sides of the border say it is a place that has always defied easy fixes and expensive barriers.

Smugglers Increasingly Using Drones to Drop Drugs over U.S.-Mexico Border

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are increasingly using drones to drop drugs over the U.S-Mexico border.

Border Patrol is using six blimps that can detect low-flying aircraft using specialized radar, CBS News reports.  The drones are monitored by Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), which can cover the entire boarder.

“Our law enforcement operators that see that on the radar and get the drugs, get the bad guys that are waiting for the drugs,” said Rob Brown the TARS program manager 

To fly below the radar, smugglers often fly dangerously low.

“They’ll hug the mountains really close just to try and break up their profile,” said Brent J. Smart, an Air and Marine Interdiction Agent. 

The TARS technology helps agents find drugs that are dropped from the sky.

Border Patrol Agents Track Down Horses Used to Smuggle Drugs into U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are known to use boats, tunnels and other means to bring drugs across the U.S. border.

On Sunday night, Border Patrol agents captured two horses that were helping smuggle packs of marijuana across the border near Sasabe.

Agents spotted two people on horseback illegally crossing the border, triggering a field and air operation.

When the smugglers saw a helicopter approaching, they abandoned their hoses and ran back across the Mexican border.

The horses were lugging about 100 pounds of marijuana.

FBI Foils 4 Attempts by Russian-Linked Gangs to Smuggle Nuclear Material

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.38.05 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has foiled four attempts by Russian-linked gangs to smuggle nuclear material to other countries, the Guardian reports. 

In February, a smuggler seeking an Islamic State buyer offered undercover agents a large mount of radioactive caesium.

But a recent Associated Press investigation found that some of the alleged smugglers have resumed their activities after getting short prison sentences.

The gangs were in the European country of Moldova, and authorities suspect the materials came from Russian hospitals.

“We can expect more of these cases,” said Constantin Malic, a Moldovan police officer who investigated all four cases. “As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it.”

Southwestern Ranchers Say Border Patrol Won’t Protect Them from Smugglers, Others

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Southwestern ranchers are complaining that Border Patrol isn’t doing enough to protect them from smugglers and others who illegally cross the Mexican border.

The Associated Press reports that ranchers vented their frustrations during a conference of western sheriffs in Arizona.

Ranchers said they won’t even call Border Patrol anymore because they know no one will help.

Border Patrol countered that steps are being taken to improve safety.

“We want to do everything we can to stop it. We have a difference of opinion on how we do that, but this situation is not OK,” Paul Beeson, the commander for the CPB Joint Field Command in Arizona, said.

Under Gov. Perry, Texas Creates Own Version of Border Patrol with Game Wardens

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The primary responsibility of Texas game wardens used to be pretty routine – crack down on drunken boaters and investigate fishing tournament cheaters.

Now a team of them is patrolling the Rio Grande in search of suspected smugglers and undocumented immigrants, trading in their white cowboy hats for camouflage, the New York Times reports.

It’s part of Gov. Rick Perry’s effort to create his own version of the Border Patrol along the state’s 1,200-mile border.

State officials say the effort has paid off, netting thousands of arrests and tens of millions of dollars in drug seizures.

Critics argue that Perry is exaggerating the problem and wasting public resources.

“It’s not something the federal government has asked him to do,” said Veronica Escobar, El Paso’s county judge. “It is such a waste of taxpayer resources, especially when so many fundamental needs are underfunded by the very state leadership that proposes and promotes this waste.”

Expensive Lifestyle Caught Up with Convicted Former Border Patrol Agent

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The high life is expensive.

Just ask Lorne Leslie “Hammer” Jones, a former Border Patrol agent.

Jones was found guilty Friday of helping smugglers enter California from Mexico to help finance his ritzy lifestyle, UPI reports.

Feds say Jones took as much as a half-million dollars in payoffs in exchange for aiding the smuggling of marijuana and illegal immigrants.

Prosecutors said Jones lavished himself with luxuries like boats and football season tickets.

Report: New Border Patrol Initiative Is Not Keeping Migrants from Re-Entering the U.S.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A strategy to send migrants back to Mexico in areas far from where they entered isn’t working as initially planned, according to a new study that monitored the agency’s efforts, the Associated Press reports.

Lateral repatriations, as the strategy is called, are used to make it tough for migrants to reconnect with smugglers.

But an assessment of the plan has shown that migrants caught crossing the border often get captured again, the AP reported.

The most effective deterrents are criminal prosecutions and formal deportation procedures, the report found.

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