Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Sept. 23
DEA Warns of New Hits Against Border Agents
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has quietly told its law enforcement partners along the border that they should be prepared for a new wave of cross-border violence aimed squarely at them, according to the website Homeland Security Today, which says that it obtained the information from an internal bulletin sent to local anti-terrorism fusion centers:
"The bulletin said DEA’s source of information had stated that the drug transporters are to 'shoot it out with law enforcement' or suffer similar consequences from Gulf Cartel leadership."
“'While this information mostly relates to those southern border states with a large Gulf Cartel influence,' the fusion center’s alert said, it also cautioned that the intelligence indicated '… a possible new trend in violence toward US law enforcement.'"
According to the website, "the Tijuana Cartel is suspected of having been behind the 'death threats' traffickers made against Nogales city police after two of its off-duty police officers seized a quarter million dollars worth of pot they’d found while horseback riding just outside the city. The smugglers fled back into Mexico, leaving behind their vehicle with the dope."
"'The cartels are absolutely ruthless - they just no longer care about taking on [US law enforcement],' agreed Mark Johnson, the burly, no-nonsense, straight-shooting director of air operations of CBP’s Tucson Air Branch of the Office of Air and Marine, as we talked in his office.
"'And that’s really changed the game,' said a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent.
"More recently, on May 11, [Zapata County, Texas Sheriff Sheriff Sigifredo] Gonzalez told the House Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management 'these smugglers will not hesitate to engage law enforcement in the US.'
"The immediate past-chairman of the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition, and a past chairman of the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, Gonzalez added he believes 'it is a matter of time before a shootout will occur between law enforcement and armed drug/human smugglers.'
"And, Gonzalez emphasized, 'in the unfortunate event of a shootout, federal, state and local officers along the southwest border - seeing the weapons used by the cartels - are not adequately armed.'"
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More like this:
- Drug war spillover at border "highly underreported," says GAO — March 1, 2013
- Agents Provide Details of Elaborate Drug Tunnel in Otay Mesa — Nov. 30, 2011
- Bersin and Napolitano Offer Latest Spin on Border Drug War — July 7, 2011
- Mexican Drug Cartels: You Want Silver or Lead? — Sept. 22, 2010
- Greetings from Tijuana — Aug. 6, 2008