A Mexican drug cartel has plans to send its assassins into Vekol Valley in southern Arizona, according to Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu.
The outspoken sheriff released a statement Friday, saying his office received a briefing from the Department of Homeland Security on May 13 with information that wasn't disseminated to the general public because it was deemed "law enforcement sensitive."
On Oct. 14, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a local news outlet that had in its possession the information contained in the e-mail regarding "assassins being sent to take out bandits in Vekol Valley," which is located in western Pinal County.
The news entity had confirmed the information through other local and federal law enforcement agencies. The sheriff released a portion of the information "in an effort to inform the public about the dangers associated with the drug cartels operating in Pinal County," according to a statement.
Here's an exerpt from the May 13 e-mail:
We just received information from a proven credible confidential source who reported that last weekend, a meeting was held in Puerto Penasco in which every smuggling organization who utilized the Vekol Valley was told to attend. This included rival groups within the Guzman (Sinaloa) cartel.
It was decided that the cartel would send a group of fifteen, very well equipped and armed sicarios (Spanish for assassin) complete with bullet proof vests, into the Vekol Valley. The cartel has a map of where the most bandit activity has been occurring. The group will walk into the valley taking four days to get into LPOP positions and communicate back to Penasco. Penasco will then send groups of simulated backpackers carrying empty boxes covered with burlap into the Vekol Valley to draw out the bandits. Once the bandits have been identified, the sicarios will take out the bandits.
Incidentally, the night of the Vekol Valley shooting, we received information from a source who reported that the scouts in the valley (the cartel has 23 scout locations with rolling encryption) were reporting that bandits had shot two sheriff's deputies and the area was covered with cops.
The above paragraph refers to April 30 incident when Deputy Louie Puroll was ambushed in Vekol Valley by armed smugglers.
"This information came from Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano's office," according to Sheriff Paul Babeu. "She knows exactly what the citizens of Arizona are faced with yet she continues to publicly state how much safer we all are. I once again ask her to please put politics aside and secure the border or give us the resources we need so that we can protect our Arizona families."