Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Arizona agent's death stuns border area, state

...Law-enforcement officers stood guard at the family residence Tuesday, allowing a stream of friends and relatives to visit with condolences. Kevin Goates, LDS stake president, described Ivie as a dedicated family man and devoted Mormon who learned Spanish while on a mission to Mexico City. The homicide is being investigated by the FBI with help from Cochise County deputies. Although a motive for the shooting is unknown, Beth Kempshall, director of Arizona's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, noted that it took place along a drug-smuggling corridor used by the Sinaloa cartel, in a hilly, remote area near Arizona 80. The agents reported over the radio that they were under fire as they followed a trail into the area, said Carol Capas, a spokeswoman with the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. "Basically ambushed," said sheriff's Cmdr. Marc Denney, who heads a task force known as the Border Alliance Group. "That's a pretty active area. It's rough terrain, rocky and very hilly. A lot of low-lying brush." Steve Nelson, 57, of Hereford, owner of a gravel pit near the shooting scene, said he was told by a Border Patrol supervisor that the agents were moving up to a saddle between two nearby mountain ranges -- a through-way for smugglers. He said they were about 100 yards from the gravel pit when gunfire erupted and Ivie was shot. Nelson said that because the location is a known as a smuggling route, especially at night, Border Patrol agents are constantly working the area...more

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