DHS Memo: Drug Cartels Plot To Send Assassins To AZ

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Battlefield Arizona, Mexico: Failed State, Trans-Border Crime

Information Shows Threat At Border Is ‘Real,’ Pinal Sheriff Says

Be sure to watch video report.


PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. — Mexican drug cartels have plotted to send assassins into Arizona to murder bandits who are stealing drugs from the cartels, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by CBS 5 News.
A CBS 5 News law enforcement source said the memo was sent to several law enforcement agencies in May.
The memo said, “We just received information from a proven credible confidential source who reported that a meeting was held in Puerto Penasco in which every smuggling organization who utilizes the Vekol Valley was told to attend. This included rival groups within the Guzman cartel.”
The Guzman cartel is one of the most powerful and dangerous cartels in Mexico.
The Vekol Valley is a known drug smuggling corridor in Pinal County and is also where Pinal Deputy Louie Puroll claims to have been ambushed by armed smugglers on April 30, according to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
“It was decided to send a group of 15, very well equipped and armed sicarios (hired assassins) complete with bullet proof vests, into the Vekol Valley,” according to the memo.
The cartels would then “send groups of ‘simulated backpackers’ carrying empty boxes covered with burlap into the Vekol Valley to draw out the bandits.” Once identified, according to the memo, “the sicarios will take out the bandits.”
After CBS 5 News told Babeu that it knew about the memo, he confirmed his agency was one of several Arizona law enforcement agencies that received the memo in May.
“We need to be plain and clear with the American people about this information. You’ve already confirmed it. I’m not going to lie about it,” Babeu said during an interview Thursday afternoon.
“This is no longer a law enforcement matter. This is literally a national security threat to our country,” Babeu said.
“These drug cartels are working in tandem to now bring this violence here to America. And this is alarming because to this point, we haven’t seen this, a coordinated response from drug cartels who nearly have toppled the Mexican government,” he said.
Babeu did not give details, but said he has received several similar memos from federal law enforcement agencies about Mexican cartel activity taking place within Arizona’s borders.
“All of these things are proof and evidence that we need help here,” Babeu said. “That it’s not just local law enforcement that needs to fight this. That we do need armed soldiers to the border to stop this. This threat is real.”



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