Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bootheel murder spurs call for greater USBP presence

New Mexico's congressional delegation is asking for stepped up immigration enforcement in the state's Bootheel region, following the weekend murder of a respected southeastern Arizona rancher. Longtime rancher Robert Krentz, 58, was shot and killed Saturday as he made the rounds on his ranch checking cattle water supplies. While authorities have yet to say for certain the crime was tied to a drug trafficker, those close to Krentz suspect the connection. The shooting, still under investigation, has stirred rumors and heightened fears among residents of the southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico region, which often perceives itself as one community. Several residents say they feel their concerns expressed to federal elected officials and administrators about rampant drug trafficking and increasingly brazen immigrant-related crimes are falling on deaf ears. Robert Hall, sheriff of Hidalgo County, which covers the state's Bootheel, said he believes Krentz's murder is another indication that the extreme drug-related violence in Mexico is reaching the United States. "It's spilling over to here; this is a good example," said Hall, who has been sheriff since 2003. "These cartels tell these people: 'You get this stuff through one way or another.'" Gee, too, said more-hardened criminals seem to be involved in the drug trade these days. Less-experienced drug haulers get jobs hauling marijuana, while the top-notch haulers are assigned loads of cocaine. And he said they use the ruggedness of the area - two mountain ranges line the valley - to their advantage. "They're in a hurry to get back and get another load," he said. "These guys are hiking like Navy Seals and Army Rangers, and the cost of failure is high. If they lose their load, they can end up chopped up in pieces down in Mexico."...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need to use our "Militia" to protect our border. The USBP would be too "politically correct."