Shortly before 2 a.m. today, one U.S. Border Patrol agent, Nicolas Ivie, 30, was killed near Naco, Ariz. approximately eight to 10 miles north of the Mexico border. Authorities suspect drug smugglers ambushed three Border Patrol agents on horseback when they responded to tripped sensors agents place underground to alert agents of illegal entry into the U.S.
Brent Cagen, of the Tucson sector Border Patrol released a statement, which said: ???Border Patrol agents on patrol in Naco, Ariz., were involved in a shooting Tuesday at 1:50 a.m. MST. One agent died from his injuries and another, who sustained non-life threatening wounds, was airlifted to a hospital.??? A third agent at the scene escaped with no injuries.
???First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Ivie???s family during this terrible time,??? said Jeffrey D. Self, commander of the Joint Field Command ??? Arizona.
???This is a tragic loss for Customs and Border Protection. We have an unwavering commitment to pursue and bring the perpetuators of this heinous act to justice.???
According to the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cochise County Sheriff Department are investigating the shooting and have no suspects in custody. Command post officials said they launched a full-scale manhunt using every vehicle necessary, including helicopters and drones, to locate any potential assailants.
It???s been just about two years since Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry was murdered in the same region by a ???Fast and Furious??? gun that uncovered the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, still known by its legacy initials: ATF, gunwalking program that allowed more than 2,000 high-powered weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Quietly, agents on the ground are concerned that Fast and Furious guns may have been used in this latest incident. So far authorities in charge haven???t released any information regarding the type of guns used or if any guns were left at the scene.
It???s worth noting that most drug smugglers use AK-47s and employ a number of ???scouts??? throughout the surrounding mountain perches to alert Mexican operatives if Border Patrol agents get too close. The cartels also use numerous high frequency radios to communicate while they traverse the unforgiving desert terrain.
The Naco station is located in the southwestern portion of Arizona, and is a known hot spot for drug and human trafficking
This recent murder occurred between the Coronado National Monument and the San Bernardino National wildlife refuge.
Rancher Rob Krentz was murdered in March of 2010, near the San Bernardino National Wildlife refuge, and Agent Terry was murdered in the same smuggling corridor just north of Naco.
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, has consistently fought against Republican Rep. Rob Bishop’s bill that would waive dozens of environmental EPA laws within 100 miles of the U.S. borders and allow BP agents to patrol the known drug smuggling corridor.
Critics argue that Rep. Grijalva???s insistence that the land remains closed only assists the drug cartels traffic their illegal drugs unrestrained as they do not follow American laws or rules. This press conference took place outside the Capitol June 19 and explains Grijalva view on this issue (YouTube).
George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union represents approximately 17,000 agents, criticized claims that the border is secure. ???Secretary Janet Napolitano has traveled around the country saying the border is more secure than it has ever been,??? McCubbin said at a July 26 press conference. ???We do not believe that to be the case. She relied on information and statistics provided to her by those with an interest in having them reflect whatever position the administration wants them to reflect.??? DHS has not returned any phone calls or released any statements regarding the murdered Border Patrol agent.
According to President Obama, the borders are more secure than ever and he used that statement to issue an executive order granting amnesty to illegal alien ???dreamer??? children who were brought to this country illegally by their parents.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) who lead the charge demanding answers from Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Border Patrol and ATF regarding the murder of BP agent Brian Terry who was killed by drug smugglers in December of 2010, was saddened by the news. Grassley said ???no way to know at this point how the agent was killed. But because of Fast and Furious, we???ll wonder for years if the guns used in any killing along the border were part of an ill-advised gunwalking strategy sanctioned by the federal government. It???s a sad commentary.???
So far this year there have been three Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty.
The borders remain unsecure
A spokesperson for Secure Border Intel said the latest murder only illustrates how unsecure the southwest border region remains and that smugglers continue to employ Wild West tactics to ensure their drugs reach the U.S. consumer.
???This comes shortly after US BP Agents shot the driver of a vehicle loaded with drugs (shot taken from a Blackhawk helicopter) after the suspect crashed into USBP vehicle attempting to block its path. The smugglers used a ramp truck to breach the fence and a load vehicle painted to match a USBP sensor truck.
The smugglers hold the high ground still in most of southern Arizona. They know where the Border Patrol has ground sensors and are able to monitor USBP encrypted radio communications. And due in part to the criminally incompetent actions of the ATF, they are well armed. Agents have to rely on their own tricks and tactics to out maneuver the bad guys. These armed bandits are a common sight in the mountains and canyons in southern Arizona.???
The link below shows recent smuggling traffic north of Nogales, Arizona. Drugs, illegal aliens and individuals who leave supplies along the trails for smugglers are caught on camera in broad daylight. ???Our borders are still not secured,??? according to Secure Border Intel.
A retired law enforcement agent and resident near the murder scene, that didn???t want his name published for fear of retaliation, said a steady stream of drugs and humans pass through the south west region of Arizona and claims Border Patrol doesn???t even respond to calls from residents. ???You better believe there are plenty of opportunities for agents to apprehend the bad guys, but they are told not to bring in the illegals. The border is not secure and this latest murder is proof the government is failing to protect Americans.???
This particular drug smuggling corridor is reportedly ???owned and operated??? by the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico???s most profitable trans-border drug organization run by ???Chapo??? Guzman, who made the Forbes most wealthy list this year.
Statement by National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO)
Early this morning, Tuesday, October 2, two Border Patrol Agents were shot. One, whose name we do not yet know, was killed. The shootings reportedly took place eight miles north of the international border with Mexico, near the town of Naco, Arizona. The agents were thought to be responding to sensor alerts. Drugs may have been involved but we lack any further details at this moment. We note the cruel irony that this murder takes place within a week after the Border Patrol station at Naco, Arizona, was named for Brian Terry, an agent who was killed by transnational criminals near Rio Rico, AZ in December 2010.
What is clear is this: yet again, an agent has been murdered and another wounded. Despite assurances from this administration that the border is secure and under control, it remains a dangerous place, far too open to smuggling, controlled as much by the transnational criminals as by the United States.
In recent years NAFBPO has argued against the baseless claims that the border is under control. It is not, and this murder offers one more example of that sad fact. Furthermore, for some time NAFBPO has been certain that as pressure on drug smuggling routes in the Nogales/Tucson corridor increases the transnational criminals will move to areas further east that are less heavily monitored. This event supports that conclusion.
Despite the clear probability that transnational criminals will move their operations to less patrolled areas, some environmental groups in New Mexico want to establish wilderness areas or a national monument in Dona Ana County, adjacent to the border. If that is done, the Border Patrol will be hampered in its operations. NAFBPO is baffled at the invitation being extended to the lawless elements that would certainly expand their operations in a protected area so close to the Mexican border.
The border insecurity that exists now is a national security and a public safety issue that must be addressed in serious fashion, not with hollow statements from the Department of Homeland Security that all is well. It demonstrably is not.
Check for further details as the story is still breaking.
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