Friday, June 25, 2010

Being a cop in border town more perilous as drug cartels issue threats

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    See video.

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    Nogales, Arizona (CNN) -- Mario Morales keeps his Commando assault rifle propped up on the seat of his patrol vehicle. The car snakes along a dirt road about a half-mile from the Mexican border.
    He's always kept the rifle within arm's reach. But in recent weeks, staying armed at all times has taken on a new urgency: Mexican cartels have issued death threats against the police on the Nogales force.
    His car rolls to a stop. Morales steps out and points to a nearby hillside where a rusty fence cuts through the desert landscape, separating the United States from Mexico.

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    "This is the first time Nogales police officers have ever been threatened by anyone in drug trafficking," says chief Kirkham. "I take a death threat any time against a police officer -- locally, federally or state -- as very serious."
    At one point, while Morales is speaking with CNN, he turns down his radio for a few minutes. The department issues an all-points bulletin for him.
    "It's very dangerous. You have to be very careful," he says.
    The lifelong resident of Nogales then climbs back into his police car. Dust kicks up along the barren road. The patrols never stop.

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    Mexican Drug Cartel Warns Police Officers in Arizona Border Town to 'Look the Other Way'

    By Joshua Rhett Miller
    Published June 22, 2010

    One expert said the threat likely came from the Sinaloa Cartel, which is headed by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera, who is being sought by American and Mexican authorities.
    Police officers in a small Arizona border city are on heightened alert following a tip that a Mexican drug cartel will put them in its crosshairs if they conduct off-duty busts.
    The threat stems from a marijuana seizure made this month by two off-duty police officers riding on horseback in an unincorporated area east of Nogales, a city of roughly 20,000, Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham told
    "The word was that these particular officers would be targeted if they were ever in that area again and were not on duty and intercepted any drug trafficking," Kirkham said. "It said they should look the other way."

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    Drug Cartel Activity Threatens Texas Water Supplies, Lawmaker Says

    By Joshua Rhett Miller
    Published June 21, 2010
    Falcon Dam in south Texas is the lowermost major multipurpose international dam and reservoir on the Rio Grande River.
    Drug cartel activity along the Mexican border presents serious security threats to the area's water supply system, particularly on federally-owned lands in southern Texas, a U.S. lawmaker says.
    Members of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing Thursday on H.R. 4719, a bill that would create a Southwest Border Region Water Task Force to monitor and assess the water supply needs of the area.

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