Saturday, May 1, 2010

Drug smugglers suspected in Arizona deputy ambush

From the Arizona Republic:
Five men suspected of smuggling drugs across the border ambushed a Pinal County sheriff's deputy Friday in a remote area south of Phoenix, underscoring the border-related violence that has catapulted Arizona and its new immigration law onto the national stage.

The rugged desert area where the shooting took place, near the junction of Interstate 8 and Arizona 84 in south-central Arizona, is considered a high-traffic drug- and human-smuggling corridor.

A massive hunt of 100 square miles that included helicopters with night-vision equipment and more than 200 officers, including SWAT teams, from 13 agencies was still pursuing the shooters late Friday.

More than one helicopter came under fire during the evening as officers rescued Deputy Louie Puroll, who had been shot with an AK-47-type weapon around 4 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

Puroll suffered a flesh wound above his kidney that tore off a chunk of skin. He was treated at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center and released Friday night.

"Here we see the tactics have changed and become more dangerous," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said. "This has reached a critical mass for law enforcement."

Babeu said he has "called out for help" from federal officials to no avail. He said smugglers know "the police are after them and the fact they are firing upon us changes the game."

Gov. Jan Brewer also weighed in, saying in a Twitter message sent out Friday evening: "Our thoughts & prayers go out to the Pinal County Deputy shot during a stop. Contrary to what some leaders say, our borders are not secure."
Critics of Arizona's new anti-illegal immigrant law question its timing and motive by pointing to the facts that illegal immigration and crime are actually down in the state and nationally.  What they fail to recognize is that the nature of the illegals and their crimes has changed dramatically. Arizonans recognized that fact last month when Robert Krentz was gunned down on his 34,000 acre cattle ranch.  The day before, Krentz's brother had stopped a caravan of illegal immigrants carrying 280 pounds of marijuana.  The border patrol arrested all eight and impounded the marijuana.

In a response to Arizona critic, Linda Chavez, Andrew McCarthy at NRO points out another serious problem the state faces:
Linda further notes that illegal immigration and crime in general are down, but that hardly means Arizonans don’t have a severe problem – kidnapping, a staple of Mexico’s drug wars, is now so rampant in Phoenix that lawyers are advertising themselves as specialists in kidnapping defense.
Drug smugglers ambushing law enforcement officers. Retaliation murders. Kidnapping.  And the President has the audacity to call Arizona lawmakers irresponsible.

Retired Army officer, T.J. Woodard offers some insights into the truth about the state of the U.S.-Mexico border at American Thinker in "Report from Cochise County, Arizona."

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