A drug-trafficking ring that used truck-mounted ramps to get smuggling vehicles over border fences, sophisticated counter-surveillance to avoid detection and hidden compartments in vehicles to bring at least 40,000 pounds of marijuana into southern Arizona has been broken up, authorities said Tuesday.Maybe they ought to put up a more secure fence and think about arresting illegals. Just a thought.
The three-year investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement into the Mexican ring led to 26 suspects being indicted on federal charges and 13 on state charges, said Dennis Burke, the U.S. attorney for Arizona.
Among those arrested was an employee of the prosecutor's office in Cochise County, Ariz., who allegedly took money to feed confidential information to the ring.
The smuggling organization was likely connected to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, Mr. Burke said.
"They figured out several ways to breach the border fence," Mr. Burke said. "They were also smuggling marijuana via backpackers, so if they needed to hop [the fence] in certain places they would. They were using stolen vehicles, they were using…ramping trucks. Their only limitation was their own creativity."
Twelve people identified as key players in the ring were indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, a charge that carries a potential life sentence. Six of those suspects are at large and believed to be in Mexico. The others indicted were lesser figures, typically drivers.
Federal agents obtained warrants to conduct seven wiretaps, which led to the arrest of the Cochise County Attorney's Office employee.
Most of the pot was brought into southeastern Arizona's Cochise County, which has a long border with Mexico. The county is a hub for drug and human smuggling. The slaying of a local rancher in March, possibly by a drug smuggler or an illegal immigrant, brought nationwide attention to the area and helped spur the passage of a tough new Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration.How much you want to bet this story is ignored by the news networks tonight while they run tear-jerking segments about trembling illegals quaking in fear of the oncoming Gestapo?