Thursday, April 01, 2010

Rancher warns of growing border danger

John Ladd, who ranches on the east side of the San Pedro River and south of Highway 92, with his property along the border, said he was in Douglas on Sunday, meeting with other ranchers about the shooting death of friend Robert Krentz a day earlier. Saying the word of the death got around quickly in the tight-knit Cochise County ranching community, Ladd said it was some civilians who began tracking the suspected shooter and had him almost cornered before he fled back into Mexico. Saying Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever did a great job in handling the situation, Ladd said there are many unknowns which still need answering. He believes those answers will come out as the investigation continues. Ladd’s property is along the border, so he faces a slightly different situation from the ranchers who are in the eastern part of the county. Illegal immigrants constantly are crossing onto his property, but with the fence up, it has somewhat stemmed the flow, he said. Recently, he has seen more drugs coming onto his ranch and earlier this year his father, Jack, also a rancher, came across six illegal immigrants carrying drugs in backpacks, Ladd said. The Border Patrol responded quickly, which was important because his father could see armed men on the Mexican side of the border, the son said. On the other hand, in eastern Cochise County ranches are being used as a corridor by armed drug smugglers, the rancher said...more

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