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Earlier this year, a regional SWAT team led by deputies with the Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office took POLICE Magazine into the Vekol Valley in the Arizona desert to show one way smugglers bring narcotics across the U.S.-Mexico border. Smugglers often use illegal immigrants as drug mules to carry 25-pound marijuana bundles using makeshift "backpacks" of rope and cut strips of Mexican blankets to lessen discomfort. Listen to our podcast, "Tracking Smugglers in Southern Arizona," with Pinal County Sheriff's Sgt. Matt Thomas. Photos by Paul Clinton.
Zapata County (Texas) Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez appeared on a panel at POLICE-TREXPO East covering threats from drug traffickers and kidnappers operating along the Mexico border. Betsy Brantner-Smith, a Calibre Press Street Survival trainer, interviews Gozalez in a video courtesy of PoliceOne.
The deputies of the Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office must be extra vigilant when traveling into the rugged desert south of Interstate 8, following the ambush shooting of deputy Louis Puroll and the shooting deaths of two armed gumen with ties to a Mexican drug cartel this spring. Sgt. Matt Thomas, motor supervisor and assistant SWAT commander, speaks exclusively with POLICE Magazine about patroling this hostile territory, detaining illegals and the ramifications of his state's tough new immigration law. PHOTOS: View our gallery, "How Cartels Smuggle Narcotics Into Southern Arizona."
This ABC News report examines threats against Nogales (Ariz.) police officers following off-duty drug busts. The department learned through its criminal informants that the threats are credible. Chief Jeffrey Kirkham is interviewed.
The Tucson (Ariz.) PD started its home invasion unit two years ago to curb paramilitary raids on drug houses by well-organized crews with military grade weapons. The crews were well trained and often posed as police officers. In an interview from Tucson PD headquarters on Tuesday, the unit's Sgt. Bob Jimenez discussed the unit's approach to enforcement and outlined two recent cases, including a shootout with two former Marines with an SKS rifle. View the "Tucson Home Invasions: The Missing Man" photo gallery of one of the cases.
These hidden compartments for cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine were discovered during "Project Deliverance," a multi-agency operation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration from its Special Operations Division center near D.C.