Bean bag rounds were used by Border Patrol before Agent Terry’s murder feds admit

The truth is beginning to come out regarding Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder.

After first denying that the Border Patrol agents who confronted the border bandits in Peck Canyon near Rio Rico used bean bag rounds initially, now the feds are admitting that was indeed the case.

Here is what the feds said originally:

Contrary to growing rumors, Border Patrol agents have not been ordered to use non-lethal ammunition when fired upon, officials of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated in response to questions from Homeland Security Today.

“There was no order given to CBP law enforcement personnel – now or in the past – that dictates the use of less-than-lethal devices before using deadly force,” stated CBP’s Southwest Border Field Branch Office of Public Affairs.

They lied.

The feds are still refusing to address the allegations that one of the guns used in the killing came by way of a gun shop in Glendale and was “walked” into the hands of the border bandits under the watchful eyes of the ATF.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

Files add some clarity to Terry’s death; agents used beanbags against migrants, who replied with gunfire

Single shot killed border agent

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.

Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Terry’s brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It’s a policy that doesn’t make sense to Kent Terry.

“You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags – I don’t get it,” Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. “It’s like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. … These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own.”

More…

——————————————————————-

Some background:

Want to know when you’ve hit a sore spot and there really is a fire where you reported there was smoke?

When the other side goes after you and attacks.

I have done a lot of posts on border issues and especially on  the murder of  Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry down by Rio Rico including this particular one:

More rumors and few facts regarding the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

It is getting stranger and stranger regarding the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry west of Rio Rico on December 14th.

Agent Terry was part of a Border Patrol Tactical unit (BORTAC) pursuing bandits in Peck Canyon west of Rio Rico, Arizona.

As noted by many, the federal stonewalling of information about the incident creates more doubt, suspicion and rumors.

The fact that the 4 suspects caught by the Border Patrol haven’t been named or charged after 2 weeks really raises some serious questions. Why is there no real information coming out from the feds?

First, a suspect (the bandit who was shot in the incident) was initially named in an Arizona Republic article on December 17th. That was also reported in the Examiner:

Captured Illegal alien in BP agent murder has a U.S. rap sheet

“The Border Patrol said that Manuel Arianes, a.k.a. Manuel Arellanes Osorio, was wounded in the gunfight. Arianes, 34, and a Mexican national, was convicted in Maricopa County Superior Court in 2006 for aggravated assault on a police officer, and had been deported to Mexico twice, according to sources familiar with his case,” Arizona’s The Republic reported.

More….

But, suddenly the identification of the suspect vanished from the Republic.

Fox11 even had a photo of the suspect.

Here is the news so far….

KGUN Channel 9 in Tucson reported that there are four non-citizens in custody in the incident according to an attorney defending one of the suspects who was injured in the incident. But the names still haven’t been released.

Attorney: detainees in Border Patrol murder are not US citizens
…According to Williams, immigration law allows federal authorities to hold non-citizens for lengthy periods of time without releasing their names to the public.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed to 9 On Your Side that ICE does not release the names of any suspects simply facing immigration charges.

More….

UPDATE: The Nogales International reported on 12/30 :

Two weeks after agent’s murder, detainees face only immigration charges

….“All we can assume at this point is that these individuals really aren’t associated with the shooting at all. Or, while the government may think they are associated, they may not have enough evidence or information at this point to feel comfortable meeting the probable cause standard,” said Heather Williams, assistant federal public defender in Tucson, whose office is representing one of the detainees.

More…

UPDATE: The Star chased the KGUN story  12/30  No Charges yet in slaying of US agent

…The federal government has given Williams’ office and the three private attorneys representing the other three men very little information about the investigation. However, the attorneys don’t expect anyone currently in custody to be charged with the shooting, Williams said.

More…

The Star also noted it was not releasing the names of the suspects because they hadn’t been charged yet.

UPDATE: The Arizona Republic also had a story up on 12/30 

Arizona border patrol: Still no charges in agent’s killing

More than two weeks after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in a shootout near Nogales, federal authorities have yet to identify the suspects they arrested or to file any charges in connection with the slaying.

Leslie Bowman, a Tucson attorney who represents one of the men picked up after the Dec. 14 gunbattle, said she has never seen such a case in 18 years of work in federal court.

“This is unusual,” said Bowman, whose client has denied involvement in the incident. “What the heck’s going on? That’s what people are asking.”

Border Patrol officials referred media inquiries to the FBI, which is carrying out the criminal investigation. An FBI spokesman and a representative at the U.S. Attorney’s office said they were not divulging anything about the probe or the suspects.

David Gonzales, U.S. marshal for Arizona, declined to identify those arrested, but confirmed that five men are in federal custody on felony immigration charges. Four were arrested the night of the homicide, Gonzales said, and a fifth was captured the next day.

“I’m sure that in the next week or two there will be indictments coming down in connection with the shooting,” Gonzales said.

Terry, 40, a member of the Border Patrol’s elite tactical squad known as BORTAC, was searching a canyon area near Rio Rico for gangsters who prey upon smugglers and illegal immigrants. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said gunfire erupted when his team of four agents ran into a group of banditos. Terry died at the scene; one suspect was wounded.

Although arrests were announced within hours, authorities withheld the suspects’ names. Neither the FBI nor the Border Patrol has provided details about the tactical mission or what transpired that night.

Bowman said the lack of public information could signal that investigators were having trouble building a case, or struggling to determine what happened with the BORTAC operation.

“My guess is that they’re trying to sort this thing out,” Bowman said.

Bowman said her client was voluntarily deported after an arrest for illegal entry in July, but has no record of criminal convictions. Under a streamlined federal program, she said, defendants in his situation typically plead guilty to an immigration violation and are immediately deported. Instead, her client was charged with a felony and initially was held in isolation.

“He’s not really connected with this thing,” Bowman added. “But somebody thinks he is.”

Attorneys for the other suspects could not be reached.

UPDATE JANUARY 5, 2011: The Arizona Daiuly star is reporting the feds have 6 suspects in custody now in the Terry incident.

And here is the other stuff floating around about the incident: 

Bean bags v AK 47s from Tom Tancredo. UPDATE:3-02-2011…Tancredo was right

9OYS Investigates: Border Patrol deadly force policy Channel 9 KGUN in Tucson chased the Tancredo story that Terry was armed with bean bag rounds.

Still no information on suspects  from the Immigration Ckearinghouse which trashes the Trancredo post.

New Details in Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry from the New American, a John Birch Society website.

Something fishy going on  … from Three Sonoras on the Citizen

Attempt to focus on immigration even though a murder of Border Patrol took place  from the Citizen’s Three Sonorans…in which he has discovered that the 4 suspects apprehended are only being charged with illegal re-rentry.

The real shocker was the following email from a Bob Price. I tried to chase down Mr Price about the email to no avail.

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: “bprice777@comcast.net” <bprice777@comcast.net>
To: “Price, Bob” <bprice777@comcast.net>
Sent: Mon, December 27, 2010 10:55:17 PM
Subject: Agent Terry United States Border Patrol

 BORTAC Shooting Incident (11 TCANGL 121570000077)
 
On December 14, 2010, at approximately 11:13 p.m., a report of shots fired was broadcast over the radio by a member of TCA/BORTAC.  The agent reported that an agent had been “hit” and that a possible bandit had been struck as well during the armed encounter.  The area of the armed encounter is reported to be in an area known as “Peck Well”, near Rio Rico, Arizona.
 
Nogales Radio (KAK-865) immediately notified Emergency Medical Services (EMS), as well as Life Flight.
 
Field Operations Supervisor (FOS) Luke Bilow responded and set up a Command Post on Mesquite Seap, in an area known as “Peck Mesa”, where a landing zone was also established for the responding Life Flight.  Supervisory Border Patrol Agents (SBPA) Knab and Johnson responded to the scene.
 
Air Assets:  National Guard “Falcon One” and an OAM  Blackhawk and Omaha 7AM” en route to assist in locating assailants.
 
On December 15, 2010, at 12:10 a.m., it was reported that there was one assailant in custody, with multiple gunshot wounds.  A second Life Flight was contacted and is en route at this time.
 
The injured agent, identified as Brian Terry (Class #699/EOD 7/23/07), is currently in a Service vehicle being transported to the landing zone for the awaiting Life Flight helicopter.
 
Tucson Sector Investigations Branch SBPA Kevin Jones was notified of the situation.
 
A search for the outstanding assailants (reportedly 2) is ongoing. 
 
Notifications:
 
11:19 p.m.:  (A)APAIC Adame
11:19 p.m.:  (A)PAIC Dikman
11:23 p.m.:  ACPA Mark Rios
 
Updated information and timeline as of 2:38 a.m.
 
Six BORTAC Agents were conducting laying-in operations in the Peck Well area on December 14, 2010.  At approximately 11:15 p.m., a group of approximately five individuals approached their position, coming from the east.  BORTAC Agents identified that at least two of the individuals were carrying rifles.  After identifying themselves as Border Patrol Agents, Detailer BORTAC Agent Gabriel Fragoza (Class 595/EOD; 7/11/05), from the Blythe Station/Yuma Sector, deployed two rounds from a less than lethal device (bean bags from shotgun).  Agent Fragoza also discharged an unknown number of rounds from his Service issued sidearm.
 
BORTAC Agent Timothy Keller (Class 653/EOD: 1/16/07), from the Calexico Station/El Centro Sector, discharged an unknown number of rounds from his Service issued M-4 rifle.  After the armed encounter, BORTAC Agent Terry called out that he was hit and couldn’t feel his legs.  Agent Terry lost consciousness shortly thereafter.
 
Updated information and timeline as of 4:10 a.m.
 
SBPA Raul Chacon of the International Liaison Unit was contacted and he notified Mexican authorities of the situation.  C-4 was contacted.
 
ICAD ticket# 2045 was created for the incident.
 
Arizona Department of Public Safety dispatching air assets to assist in the search for the outstanding assailant(s).
 
At 3:40 a.m., the wounded suspect arrived to the landing zone to be air lifted by Life Line to University Medical Center (UMC).  Preliminary reports indicate the suspect was shot twice in the abdomen, and once in the upper back.  The suspect is coherent and identified himself as Manuel OSORIO-Arellanes (DOB: 8-4-76, POB: Choix, SIN, Mex.).
 
At 3:41 a.m., Agent Terry was transported by EMS to the Tubac, Arizona Fire Station.  Carroon’s Mortuary personnel will be transporting Agent Terry to Carroon’s Mortuary in Nogales, Arizona.  Agent Terry is being escorted by Tucson Sector Honor Guard personnel. 
 
The search continues for the outstanding assailant(s).
 
BORTAC Armed Encounter Timeline:
 
December 14, 2010
 
11:15 p.m.:  BORTAC reports shots fired near Peck Well
11:18 p.m.:  EMS/EMS Agents en route.
11:21 p.m.:  Lifeflight and CBP/OAM contacted.
11:28 p.m.:  Life Line en route.
11:33 p.m.:  Air Omaha 7AM contacted.
11:35 p.m.:  FOS Bilow sets up Command Post on Peck Mesa, near Gasline.
11:36 p.m.:  National Guard Air Falcon One en route.
11:36 p.m.:  Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies arrive at Command Post.
11:38 p.m.:  Landing Zone (LZ) created at Command Post (N31.49879 W-111.07986)
11:39 p.m.:  EMS at Command Post.
11:39 p.m.:  Tucson Investigations Branch (Kevin Jones) contacted.
11:40 p.m.:  Reported that the injured agent is unresponsive/no pulse.
11:41 p.m.:  Air Omaha 7AM en route.
11:44 p.m.:  Tucson Investigations Branch/CIT en route.
11:53 p.m.:  Life Line standing by at Landing Zone.
11:58 p.m.:  BORTAC Agents report one suspect apprehended (with gunshot wounds).
11:59 p.m.:  Omaha 7A9 and Omaha 747 (Blackhawk) in the area.
 
December 15, 2010
 
12:03 a.m.:  Second Life Line contacted for wounded suspect.
12:09 a.m.:  Wounded BORTAC Agent (Brian Terry) loaded into vehicle.
12:10 a.m.:  Second Life Line en route.
12:10 a.m.:  Mobile Surveillance Unit relocated.
12:14 a.m.:  Falcon One in area.
12:19 a.m.:  Agents en route to Ramanote Well to head off outstanding assailant(s).
12:23 a.m.:  FOB Agents mobilizing further east on Ruby Road.
12:38 a.m.:  Second Life Line on site.
12:46 a.m.:  BORTAC Agent Terry arrives to Landing Zone.
12:51 a.m.:  BORSTAR from Blackhawk rendering assistance.
01:06 a.m.:  Dr. Chan pronounces Agent Terry dead.
01:35 a.m.:  Reported that there are four subjects in custody at this time (one being gunshot), with one subject outstanding but spotted.
02:04 a.m.:  Falcon One goes 10-7 for fuel.
02:40 a.m.:  TCA Sector Radio informs Nogales Station that DPS Air Ranger en route.
03:05 a.m.:  DPS Ranger in the area.
03:25 a.m.:  Falcon One 10-8, on scene to assist.
03:40 a.m.:  Wounded suspect arrives to LZ, en route to University Medical Center.
03:41 a.m.:  Agent Terry is transported to Carroon’s Mortuary in Nogales, Arizona, escorted by Tucson Sector Honor Guard personnel.  
 
Twice deported POS involved in shooting death of Border Patrol Agent.

Bob Price Nunca Deje Que El Fuego Verde Se Apagare

The thing about the Price email is the description of the incident has a lot of gov-speak detail that is either a masterful work of fiction or is based on something real. Could not verify this email. So it is posted here more as an example of the kind of stuff that floats round the web in the absence of solid information.

However…the description of the incident…

Six BORTAC Agents were conducting laying-in operations in the Peck Well area on December 14, 2010.  At approximately 11:15 p.m., a group of approximately five individuals approached their position, coming from the east.  BORTAC Agents identified that at least two of the individuals were carrying rifles.  After identifying themselves as Border Patrol Agents, Detailer BORTAC Agent Gabriel Fragoza (Class 595/EOD; 7/11/05), from the Blythe Station/Yuma Sector, deployed two rounds from a less than lethal device (bean bags from shotgun).  Agent Fragoza also discharged an unknown number of rounds from his Service issued sidearm.

BORTAC Agent Timothy Keller (Class 653/EOD: 1/16/07), from the Calexico Station/El Centro Sector, discharged an unknown number of rounds from his Service issued M-4 rifle.  After the armed encounter, BORTAC Agent Terry called out that he was hit and couldn’t feel his legs.  Agent Terry lost consciousness shortly thereafter

Sounds like there was a lot of gunfire in the dark and possibly Agent Terry could have been hit by friendly fire.

To figure that out, one would have to match bullets with guns…assuming the Border Patrol recovered the bandits’ weapons. It is standard procedure in state and local police shooting incidents to take all weapons used in the incident for forensic work…so by now the feds ought to know whose bullets hit Agent Terry.

If it turns out to be true that Agent Terry was hit with friendly fire, that does not for a second change the basic issue of the incident…we have armed bandits running around and BORTAC was out in the dark trying to protect the undocumented immigrants and the public who are prey for the bandits.

Brian Terry is a hero.

All the swirling rumors and claims just further emphasises the fact that the federal government is being really dumb in refusing to provide any substantive information about the incident.

There are a lot of issues that come up after an incident like this…some of which may not reflect well on the Border Patrol’s management. So be it. Problems don’t get resolved by hiding stuff.

Feds making a big mistake in secrecy over death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry

______________________________________

The day after I posted the above, a website called Homeland Security Today fired back:

EXCLUSIVE: CBP Denies Agents Ordered to Use ‘Non-lethal’ Bullets
By: Anthony Kimery

12/30/2010 (12:00am)

Contrary to growing rumors, Border Patrol agents have not been ordered to use non-lethal ammunition when fired upon, officials of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated in response to questions from Homeland Security Today.

“There was no order given to CBP law enforcement personnel – now or in the past – that dictates the use of less-than-lethal devices before using deadly force,” stated CBP’s Southwest Border Field Branch Office of Public Affairs.

“Every situation is unique,” the statement continued. “When in defense of themselves, their fellow officers/agents or innocent third parties, our personnel will respond with an appropriate level of force to bring the situation to resolution.”

Increasingly bizarre Internet-fueled rumors are charging that 40-year-old Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by a suspected Mexican crime gang on Dec. 14 because Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued orders to first use non-lethal ammunition when coming under fire.

In response, a CBP official provided Homeland Security Today an exclusive statement “to assist in dispelling the rumor.”

Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council to which Terry belonged, further stated that “the … reports circulating that Agent Terry and others were armed only with ‘bean bag’ rounds and ‘rubber bullets’ … are not true. Without commenting on whether any ‘bean bag’ rounds were involved or appropriate in this particular incident, we can say with absolute certainty that no agent would be deployed out in the field under any circumstances, and particularly in an extreme danger zone such as this, without real guns and real bullets at their disposal.”

CBP assured that it “will continue to be relentless in our commitment to securing our nation’s borders while remembering all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act. We will not tolerate these acts against our agents or any other law enforcement organization.”

CBP hopes its first official statement regarding the rumors will put an end to them, as they continue to circulate. On Wednesday, Tucson Citizen.com blogger Hugh Holub stated “it is getting stranger and stranger regarding the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry … As noted by many, the federal stonewalling of information about the incident creates more doubt, suspicion and rumors.”

Continuing, he wrote that “all the swirling rumors and claims just further emphasizes the fact that the federal government is being really dumb in refusing to provide any substantive information about the incident.”

CBP told Homeland Security Today they have nothing to hide; especially with regard to the sensational claims that Terry’s elite Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) was under orders to first engage their attackers with non-lethal munitions. BORTAC is CBP’s quick response force.

A former Marine, Terry was brutally murdered when his team came under reported automatic weapons fire a short distance from the US/Mexico border outside Nogales, Arizona.

Following his honorable discharge from the Marines, Terry obtained a degree in criminal justice and worked as a police officer in Ecorse and Lincoln Park, Michigan before joining Border Patrol in July 2007.

In a statement, a Border Patrol spokesman said “Agent Terry was held in the highest esteem by his peers … As a section leader in the Border Patrol Academy, he exemplified the qualities of a Border Patrol Agent.”

The area where Terry’s BORTAC unit was operating is a known hotbed of narco- and human-trafficking by Mexico’s ruthless and barbaric transnational criminal organizations (TCOs).

The claim that CBP agents had been ordered to first use rubber bullets and bean bag munitions when fired on appears to have originated with Tom Tancredo, a former five-term US representative from Colorado and a 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, in an op-ed he wrote for the conservative WorldNet Daily on Dec. 17.

“Here’s the part … Napolitano and Border Patrol management are trying to hide: Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use (‘non-lethal’) bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition,” Tancredo declared. “When the smugglers heard the first rounds, they returned fire with real bullets, and Agent Terry was killed in that exchange. Real bullets outperform bean bags every time.”

Tancredo said “the larger, ugly truth Napolitano and senior managers in the Border Patrol want to hide is that the rules of engagement and inadequate weaponry of the Border Patrol place the lives of all agents at grave risk,” adding that “the rules requiring first use of bean bag ammunition is but one example of the suicidal rules of engagement that govern Border Patrol operations. The reason they have such insane rules? The politicians who run the agency do not want the public to think the border is so dangerous a place that Border Patrol agents fear for their lives. In other words, the rules of engagement are based on a lie, a lie that must be maintained for political purposes.”

Tancredo continued to stand by his claim in a recent interview with Tucson’s KGUN9-TV, which tried to investigate his allegations.

KGUN9 reporter Ileana Diaz said “Tancredo told [KGUN9] he heard this directly from Border Patrol agents ‘who have both been subject to this order, or they put it as a rule of engagement actually, and other people who have seen the order itself.’”

Diaz said Tancredo “claims the order requires bean bags and rubber bullets be used before real bullets. But is this true? The Border Patrol wouldn’t say. They did admit agents at times carry bean bag guns and it is possible Agent Terry carried one the night he died, but agents do not know for sure. One thing they did tell KGUN9, however, is that even if Terry was carrying a non-lethal weapon he would still be carrying his side arm, a pistol with very real bullets.”

“Still, Tancredo stands behind his story and its implications,” Diaz reported.

“That death may have been prevented. I underline may, who can say for sure, but it may have been prevented if he were allowed to defend himself with lethal force,” said Tancredo. “It’s pretty simple. You face someone with an AK-47 and you’re shooting a bean bag around. What would you call it?”

In its statement to Homeland Security Today, CBP acknowledged that “personnel are trained to use the minimum force necessary to affect an arrest,” but that “they are trained and prepared for all situations and all threats and may deploy with less-lethal munitions [only] as an option. Less-lethal munitions are not meant as a replacement for ‘live’ ammunition. All personnel performing in a law enforcement capacity are equipped with standard issue equipment, which includes a handgun.”

During patrols with Border Patrol agents working in especially dangerous areas along the Southwest border, this reporter has observed that they are equipped with automatic weapons and protective gear. At CBP’s Nogales Port of Entry (PoE), agents stand guard and patrol the facility with automatic weapons.

The CBP statement also comports with what Homeland Security Today has repeatedly reported since the summer of 2008. Senior Border Patrol officials stressed in interviews that they are authorized to return “live” fire when fired on or feel that their lives are in imminent danger. This includes authority to return fire at anyone shooting at them from the Mexican side of the border, which typically is from the banks of the Rio Grande River.

There were several instances prior to Terry’s murder in which Border Patrol agents were forced to fire “live” rounds in self defense – actions that refute the claim that agents had been ordered to first use “non-lethal” munitions.

Furthermore, given the increased attacks on Border Patrol agents, a CBP official frankly told me that it “would make no sense whatsoever for us, in this increasingly dangerous environment, to not have the authority to defend ourselves with real bullets … I mean, c’mon.”

Indeed. The headline of a recent Christian Science Monitor report in response to the fatal shooting of Terry asked: “Border Patrol Agent Killed: Are Smugglers Becoming More Daring?”

The subhead read: “Border patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a gun battle Tuesday night. It could be a sign that smugglers are becoming more willing ‘to just to shoot it out with agents.’”

“You’re damn right they are,” exclaimed a CBP official who works in CBP’s Tucson Sector that includes Nogales.

Homeland Security Today’s October investigative report, Desperate and Dangerous, as well as several “Kimery Reports,” documented at length that in recent years these TCOs not only have become more violent, but that they also are more inclined to confront Border Patrol agents and border state law enforcement officers. In fact, some drug and human smugglers have openly stated that they are prepared and willing to kill any US law enforcement official – or anyone else, for that matter – who gets in their way.

[See, Cartel Threat Grows, Illegal Numbers Drop, and, Shooting Highlights Attacks on Border Patrol]

While a Tucson newspaper stated that Terry’s murder “highlights the fact that the border is not secure,” the fact is the border is more secure than it’s ever been, as Homeland Security Today has reported.

The problem is that US border security activities, combined with drug interdiction operations, have significantly reduced Mexico’s TCOs’ smuggling routes into the US. This has put increased pressure on the TCOs, who are battling it out for control of the dwindling trafficking corridors into the US.

And with increased narcotics busts, more seizures of larger amounts of illicit narco-revenue and more apprehensions of illegal border crossers, the cartels now appear willing to kill US law enforcement.

In November 2009, the Tijuana Cartel is believed to be the TCO that made death threats against Nogales police department officers after drug smugglers were forced to abandon their narco-cargo and flee back into Mexico when two off-duty city police officers came across them while they were horseback riding outside Nogales.

Nogales Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham said confidential informants quickly heard from their narco-connections that the cartel issued orders to it cross-border smugglers to open fire on any off-duty officers who stumble upon future drug shipment operations.

“We were told that these particular officers would be targeted if they were ever out in that area again off duty and came across any more [of the cartel’s] narco-smugglers,” Kirkham said, noting that the cartel had made it clear that it considers off-duty law enforcement to be fair game.

The following month, on December 14 at 7:35 PM, a suspected cartel member opened fire on CBP’s Nogales PoE with an AK-47 – from Mexican soil!

The shots were fired from the ridge of a small mountain just inside Mexico that strategically overlooks the port, the bullets slammed into several vehicles and PoE facilities, miraculously avoiding killing or injuring anyone.

One of the powerful AK-47 rounds embedded itself in a Nogales PoE vehicular checkpoint building.

It’s believed to be the first unleashing of automatic weapon fire by a cartel from inside Mexico at a CBP facility.

[Homeland Security Today profiled the Nogales CBP PoE in September]

All along the border, federal and border state law enforcement officials are coming under attack by Mexico’s TCOs. Not only have the TCOs openly threatened numerous border region law enforcement officers with death, but Border Patrol agents and county sheriffs have been shot, fired on and put on “hit lists.”

Why?

Because the increasingly desperate TCOs are facing progressively fewer and fewer smuggling routes into the United States and an onslaught on their operations here and in Mexico that’s begun to seriously eat away at the revenue from their varied criminal enterprises. They no longer fear taking on US federal, state and local law enforcement that get in their way.

The amplified bloodletting on the border coincides with CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies successfully locking down larger and larger chunks of the border in recent years, forcing Mexico’s warring TCOs to have to find other smuggling and transportation routes across the border.

Border CBP officials candidly acknowledged in interviews during a month-long investigation on the border last summer that they still confront myriad security problems, but were adamant that Napolitano’s hotly contested statement in June that “the US border has never been more secure” is accurate.

“What else could account for the desperation we’re seeing on the part of the cartels?” asked a federal official assigned to the border who is involved in counter-TCO disruption efforts. “Enforcement has been increased and statistics prove it’s been successful.”

Since December it has become absolutely clear that the coverup…which is obvious…was mostly because ATF looked the other way while guns “walked” into the hands of the bandits that shot Agent Terry.

Both Border Patrol and ATF are still stonewalling any information about what really happened that night.

But now we  know  the claim that BORTAC was required to use “less than lethal” weapons first, before using real guns to shoot back at the bandits…are true.

As Alice said in Wonderland…getting curiouser and curiouser….

More….

ATF Let Hundreds of U.S. Weapons Fall into Hands of Suspected Mexican Gunrunners…and 2 of these guns were found at Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder site

CBS News Reports: ATF agent ordered to let guns into Mexico

CBS News reports on ATF scandal…was Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry murdered by a gun being tracked by ATF?

Inside ATF…an ugly picture …how many dead bodies are out there as a result of Project Gunrunner?

Senator Grassley struggles to get to the bottom of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death and the role of ATF

FBI: Friendly fire ruled out in Tucson border agent’s slaying …so which gun fired the bullet that killed Brian Terry?

Grassley blasts Department of Justice on coverup of guns used in Agent Terry’s murder

Dept. of Justice denies gun claim about Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death

Is there a cover-up on Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder?

Senator Grassley letters accusing BATFE of letting guns be sold that may have been used in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry

Was Border Patrol agent Brian Terry killed by a gun bought in Phoenix?

_________________________________________________________

More border articles and commentaries from the View from Baja Arizona

About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
This entry was posted in atf, border issues, border patrol, border patrol tucson sector, border security, brian terry, department of homeland security, grassley, guns, mexican drug cartels, project gunrunner, us customs and border protection. Bookmark the permalink.

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