An armed volunteer posse set up by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to scan the desert for violent drug smugglers is running into serious bureaucratic opposition that might thwart the controversial operation.

County officials from across the state and their insurance underwriters believe Babeu has gone too far in recruiting military veterans to help his deputies, who patrol one of the most dangerous sections of Arizona desert, and have deemed the operation too risky.

Following legal warnings from alarmed underwriters that provide liability coverage for posse volunteers in most county sheriff’s offices, an agency that coordinates insurance coverage is changing its policy to specifically exclude Babeu's Anti-Smuggling Posse.

Read the full Arizona Republic story.

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