The American Kafir

2011/11/30

Obama Administration Seals Court Records Of Border Patrol’s Murder

Below is an article concerning the Murder of U.S. Border Guard Brian Terry during the Obama Administrations Operation Fast and Furious. Barack Obama has now chose to seal the Court Records in order to hide the murder of Brian Terry. If the Obama Administration is as innocent as they claim then why hide the records? Included with the Court Record Seal article are several articles outlining the history of this murder. Walt

Source Article Link: Judicial Watch

Barack Obama Seals Court Records Of Border Patrol’s Murder

The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.

Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of more than 1,000 guns which have been used in numerous crimes. In Terry’s case, five illegal immigrants armed with at least two semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and Terry got hit.

We know this only because Washington D.C.’s conservative newspaper , (copy right below this article) the Washington Times, got ahold of the court documents before the government suddenly made them off limits. The now-sealed federal grand jury indictment tells the frightening story of how Terry was gunned down by Mexican drug smugglers patrolling the rugged desert with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

You can see why the administration wants to keep this information from the public and the media, considering the smugglers were essentially armed by the U.S. government. Truth is, no one will know the reason for the confiscation of public court records in this case because the judge’s decision to seal it was also sealed, according to the news story. That means the public or media won’t have access to any new or old evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.

A number of high-ranking Border Patrol officials are questioning how the case is being handled. For instance, they wonder why the defendant (Manuel Osorio-Arellanes) hasn’t been tried even though it’s been almost a year since Terry’s murder. They also have concerns about the lack of transparency in the investigation, not to mention the recent sealing of the court case.

Osorio-Arellanes is charged with second-degree murder. The four other drug smugglers fled the scene and their names were blacked out in the indictment. In 2006 Osorio-Arellanes had been convicted in Phoenix of felony aggravated assault and in 2010 he was twice detained for being in the U.S. illegally.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this month to address the flawed gun-tracking program, Attorney General Eric Holder said it’s not fair to assume that mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious led to Terry’s death. Holder also expressed regret to the federal agent’s family, saying that he can only imagine their pain.


Source Article Link: Washington Times

Armed illegals stalked Border Patrol

Mexicans were ‘patrolling’ when agent was slain, indictment says

By Jerry Seper

Five illegal immigrants armed with at least two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and one U.S. agent was killed, records show.

A now-sealed federal grand jury indictment in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry says the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.

According to the indictment, the Mexicans were “patrolling the area in single-file formation” a dozen miles northwest of the border town of Nogales and — in the darkness of the Arizona night — opened fire on four Border Patrol agents after the agents identified themselves in Spanish as police officers.

Two AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene came from the failed Fast and Furious operation.

Using thermal binoculars, one of the agents determined that at least two of the Mexicans were carrying rifles, but according to an affidavit in the case by FBI agent Scott Hunter, when the Mexicans did not drop their weapons as ordered, two agents used their shotguns to fire “less than lethal” beanbags at them.

At least one of the Mexicans opened fire and, according to the affidavit, Terry, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine, was shot in the back. A Border Patrol shooting-incident report said that Terry called out, “I’m hit,” and then fell to the ground, a bullet having pierced his aorta. “I can’t feel my legs,” Terry told one of the agents who cradled him. “I think I’m paralyzed.”

Bleeding profusely, he died at the scene.

After the initial shots, two agents returned fire, hitting Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 33, in the abdomen and leg. The others fled. The FBI affidavit said Osorio-Arellanes admitted during an interview that all five of the Mexicans were armed.

Peck Canyon is a notorious drug-smuggling corridor.

Osorio-Arellanes initially was charged with illegal entry, but that case was dismissed when the indictment was handed up. It named Osorio-Arellanes on a charge of second-degree murder, but did not identify him as the likely shooter, saying only that Osorio-Arellanes and others whose names were blacked out “did unlawfully kill with malice aforethought United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry while Agent Terry was engaged in … his official duties.”

The indictment also noted that Osorio-Arellanes had been convicted in Phoenix in 2006 of felony aggravated assault, had been detained twice in 2010 as an illegal immigrant, and had been returned to Mexico repeatedly.

Bill Brooks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting southwest border field branch chief, referred inquiries to the FBI, which is conducting the investigation. The FBI declined to comment.

The case against Osorio-Arellanes and others involved in the shooting has since been sealed, meaning that neither the public nor the media has access to any evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.

The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, would confirm only that it was sealed. Also sealed was the judge’s reason for sealing the case.

The indictment lists the names of other suspects in the shooting, but they are redacted.

In the Terry killing, two Romanian-built AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene were identified as having been purchased in a Glendale, Ariz., gun shop as part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) failed Fast and Furious investigation.

A number of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents have questioned why the case has not gone to trial, nearly a year after Terry’s killing. Several also have concerns about the lack of transparency in the investigation, compounded now by the fact that the court case has been sealed.

Shawn P. Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,000 nonsupervisory agents, said it is rare for illegal immigrants or drug smugglers to engage agents in the desert, saying they usually “drop their loads and take off south.”

“The Brian Terry murder was a real wake-up call,” Mr. Moran said. “It emphasizes the failed state of security on the U.S. border, which poses more of a threat to us than either Iraq or Afghanistan. We have terrorism going on right on the other side of the fence, and we’re arming the drug cartels.

“My biggest fear is that someday a cartel member is going to go berserk, stick a rifle through the fence and kill as many Border Patrol agents as he can,” he said.

Mr. Moran said he understood the “rationale of working things up the food chain,” as suggested in the Fast and Furious probe, but had no idea how ATF planned to arrest cartel members who ultimately purchased the weapons since the agency lacks jurisdiction south of the border and never advised Mexican authorities about the operation.

“It was a ridiculous idea from the beginning, and it baffles us on how it was ever approved,” he said.

Mr. Moran also challenged the use of less-than-lethal s in the shooting incident, saying field agents have been “strong-armed” by the agency’s leadership to use nonlethal weapons. He said they were not appropriate for the incident in which Terry was killed.

“That was no place for beanbag rounds,” he said, noting that the encounter was at least 12 miles inside the U.S. and was carried out by armed men looking specifically to target Border Patrol agents.

CBP has said Terry and the agents with him carried fully loaded sidearms, along with two additional magazines, and were not under orders to use nonlethal ammunition first.

Mr. Moran, himself a veteran Border Patrol agent, said he also was “surprised” that the suspected Mexican gunmen were carrying their weapons at the ready position, meaning that the butts of the weapons were placed firmly in the pocket of the shoulder with the barrels pointed down at a 45-degree angle. He said this probably meant they had some level of military training.

More than 250 incursions by Mexican military personnel into the United States have been documented over the past several years.

The Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona that many of the intruders were “trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush” if detected. The agency cautioned agents to keep “a low profile,” to use “cover and concealment” in approaching the Mexican units, to employ “shadows and camouflage” to conceal themselves and to “stay as quiet as possible.”

Several of the incursions occurred in the same area where Terry was killed, including a 2005 incident in which two agents were shot and wounded by assailants dressed in black commando-type clothing in what law-enforcement authorities said was a planned ambush. More than 50 rounds were fired at the agents after they spotted the suspected gunmen.


Source Link: Tucson Weekly

The Brothers Arellanes

The man held in connection with the murder of Agent Brian Terry has a crime-ridden past—and so does at least one relative

by Leo W. Banks

Daniel Osorio-Arellanes was formally deported from the U.S. on Oct 18, 2005. - Courtesy Mesa Police Department

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, who has a lengthy criminal record, was wounded in a gunfight with Border Patrol agents the night of Brian Terry's murder. - Courtesy Mesa Police Department

Rito Osorio-Arellanes, believed to be Manuel's brother, was arrested near Rio Rico two days before Brian Terry's murder. - Courtesy Mesa Police Department

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s border strategy is to push as much of the illicit traffic as possible out of towns and settled areas, and into the backcountry.

Out of sight, out of mind. With the smugglers high up in the mountains and in remote canyons, she gains enough political cover to stand up and say the border is largely secure, so let’s move on to comprehensive immigration reform.

But the strategy hasn’t stopped the traffic; it’s only moved it—into the neighborhoods of rural Southern Arizonans, which explains why these folks push back so loudly and so emotionally against the government spin.

Everything is on the line for them—their property, their families and their lives, as they try to stay away from dangerous smugglers crossing their land. They believe one of them killed rancher Rob Krentz in March 2010, and another murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry along the Peck Canyon smuggling corridor, northwest of Nogales, on Dec. 14, 2010.

In the latter case, four men were arrested following the Terry incident—all illegal aliens. Three were judged not to be involved and were deported. The fourth, 34-year-old Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, is still being held for trial, now scheduled for May 10, on a felony charge of re-entry after deportation.

If you live along a smuggling corridor in the remote borderlands, or work for the Border Patrol and police those areas, men like Arellanes are your worst nightmare.

He was one of five armed men—part of a “rip crew” of border bandits who refused to drop their weapons when ordered to do so by agents from Border Patrol’s elite BORTAC unit. In the deadly shootout that followed, Arellanes was wounded. He admitted carrying a rifle, according to an FBI search warrant, but claimed he did not fire when he realized the men they’d encountered were Border Patrol agents.

Arellanes’ criminal past includes domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence against police, according to records in Maricopa County. Moreover, Arellanes might’ve been working the Peck Corridor with Rito Osorio-Arellanes, who is believed to be Manuel’s brother.

Rito was arrested in the same area two days before Terry’s murder.

Federal court records show that Rito—whose name, like Manuel’s, is spelled in multiple ways in public documents—was taken into custody on Dec. 12 near Rio Rico. Smugglers, bandits and illegal aliens often enter and exit the Peck corridor at Rio Rico, which is close to Peck Well, the area of the Coronado National Forest where the murder occurred on Dec. 14.

After his arrest in Mesa on March 16, 2004, for selling $20 worth of crack cocaine to an undercover detective in Pioneer Park, Rito said if released, he would go live with his brother in Mesa. Rito was a transient at the time. Manuel was also was living in Mesa then, and in court records, both gave their address as Pasadena Street.

Rito also had a criminal record in this country, and he told a Maricopa County probation officer in 2004 that he had done time in Mexico for homicide. In a pre-sentencing report, the probation officer wrote that he did not verify that statement.

Rito’s lawyer, Daniel Anderson, says he heard that Rito’s brother had been shot by Border Patrol agents, but knew nothing more about it. As for Rito’s past in Mexico, Anderson said he was unaware of it—and couldn’t talk about it even if he were.

The Tucson Weekly tried to confirm Rito’s statement through the Mexican Foreign Ministry in Washington, D.C., but was unsuccessful as of our press time.

Were Manuel and Rito working together in Peck Canyon? Were they part of the same crew that was assaulting, raping and robbing illegals and rival drug mules using that corridor?

Court records also detail the border-area arrests of another man with the same last name: Daniel Osorio-Arellanes, 35. Like Rito, Daniel is from Sinaloa, Mexico.

Border Patrol arrested him on Oct. 20, 2008, near the border town of Sasabe, Ariz. Although the record is unclear, he was likely voluntarily returned to Mexico, which basically means he was pushed back across the line.

But the next day, he was arrested again, this time in Amado, near Interstate 10 and Arivaca Road. Court records show he had been deported three years earlier, on Oct. 18, 2005. The government dismissed the felony charge of re-entry after deportation, and Daniel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor entry without inspection. He served 180 days in jail.

Prior to all of this, on Oct. 7, 2008, Mexican police arrested Daniel in Altar, Sonora, just south of Sasabe, for possession of methamphetamine, according to information from Mexico’s attorney general.

Meth is commonly used by coyotes and drug-smugglers for the energy boost it provides. Coyotes give it to the people they’re guiding to keep them walking through the night, a dangerous tactic that can accelerate dehydration.

Meth has played a key role in the criminal histories of Manuel and Rito as well. Both also have multiple deportations—but the open border allows them to keep returning to this country.

Manuel was detained in Mesa on Nov. 17, 2003, for resisting arrest. According to the Mesa police report, when officers responded to a call about a man looking into backyards and “possibly casing houses,” they found Manuel yelling in Spanish at a woman waiting in her car for her daughter outside of New Horizon elementary school.

Manuel refused commands to move away from the car, and when police tried to arrest him, Manuel “spun away from our grasp and attempted to run,” the report said. He continued to struggle after being handcuffed.

To get him into a patrol car, officers had to wrestle him to the street twice and Taser him twice, to minimal effect. At the Mesa jail, he fought officers again, after which paramedics were called to take him to the hospital due to a rapid heartbeat.

Manuel, a day laborer in the country illegally, admitted that he used marijuana, cocaine and meth, according to a pre-sentencing report by a Maricopa County probation officer.

He said he began smoking marijuana frequently at age 13. He began using meth “one or two times per month” at 26, and had last used the drug two weeks before his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation.

After a period during which Manuel seemed to do well, passing all court-ordered urinalysis tests, he was arrested again on May 21, 2006, for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Officers were summoned to his house in Mesa on a domestic-violence call after his wife reported that Manuel was drunk and causing a disturbance. Police had been to the house several times in previous months for the same trouble.

As an officer approached him, Manuel said, “Don’t arrest me.” When the officer attempted to handcuff him, Manuel punched the policeman in the face, causing a bloody cut on his left cheek and a bloody lip.

Court papers in Maricopa County state that Manuel admitted using cocaine the day of the arrest. He also said that in the three months prior to his arrest, he’d been using meth, and it had made him “very paranoid,” according to the pre-sentencing report.

The report also noted that the officer with whom Manuel fought had been to the house before, on a domestic call during which Arellanes had “smacked up his wife pretty good.”

The report provides a glimpse into Manuel’s life. He admitted coming to the country illegally in 1999. He said he was married and had two stepdaughters.

Beginning in March 2003, he worked as an $11-per-hour tile-setter for a company in Gilbert. In a letter to the court, his boss said he was pleased to have Manuel on his staff, because he was “a very dependable and reliable worker.”

But in a phone interview with the Weekly, company owner Slobadan Daki said that “was on the days when he showed up.”

Manuel pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault on a police officer and got 60 days in jail, followed by three years of probation. He also was ordered to undergo domestic-violence and anger-management counseling, and submit to DNA testing for law-enforcement purposes.

Court records show that Manuel’s next arrest occurred six months before the Terry murder, on June 8, 2010, when Border Patrol agents found him after he had entered the country illegally near Nogales. He pleaded guilty to that crime and was deported on June 14—his last known appearance in the country before his re-entry in December.

Clay Hernandez, Manuel’s lawyer, did not return a phone call to talk about his client.

Manuel has not been charged in the Terry murder, presumably because the FBI is unable to link the AK-47 he carried to the killing. FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Multiple media sources have reported that two AK-47s were recovered at the scene. The guns have been traced to a three-gun cash purchase from the Lone Wolf Trading Company gun shop in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 16, 2010, according to a federal indictment.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the matter said the third AK-47 from that buy, possibly the murder weapon, has never been located and is a key component of the FBI’s effort to identify a killer.

As for Rito, now 40 years old, he pleaded guilty to his 2004 crack-cocaine arrest, serving 100 days in jail and getting three years of probation. He told police he was selling drugs to buy food. He acknowledged needing help for his addictions, saying he’d been drinking six to 12 beers a day prior to his arrest and smoking meth daily for two years.

While still on probation, on March 24, 2006, Rito was again arrested in Pioneer Park, for possession of crack cocaine. He gave police a false name and date of birth.

Rito explained to court officials that following his earlier deportation, he returned illegally to the United States again around January 2005 out of economic necessity. He supported himself by waiting on street corners two or three mornings per week to get day-labor jobs that paid $50 to $60 in cash per day.

He admitted to using $60 a day worth of meth or crack, in addition to drinking one to two six-packs of beer a day. He pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and spent 30 days in jail, which was followed by three years of probation.

Court records show Rito was deported through Nogales on Feb. 11, 2010. After that, he disappeared from public view until two days before the Terry murder, when Border Patrol arrested him at Rio Rico. He is scheduled to stand trial in federal court in Tucson on June 14 on a felony charge of re-entry after deportation.


Source Article Link: The Tucson Weekly

The Border’s Revolving Door

The indictment issued involving the murder of Agent Brian Terry raises as many questions as it answers

by Leo W. Banks

The May 6 unsealing of a federal indictment against Manuel Osorio-Arellanes revealed new details about the night of Dec. 14, 2010, when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered on Coronado National Forest land northwest of Nogales.

Terry’s elite, four-man tactical unit was conducting operations at Mesquite Seep, along the dangerous Peck Canyon smuggling corridor, when they encountered armed bandits “patrolling in single file formation,” at least two of them carrying 7.62-by-39mm Romanian AK-47 assault rifles.

The bandits carried the rifles “at the ‘ready’ position when they encountered the Border Patrol agents,” the indictment said. At least two of the defendants shot at Border Patrol agents after the agents identified themselves as police.

As has been previously reported, the firefight began with one of the Border Patrol agents firing two rounds from a nonlethal beanbag shotgun. This same agent then fired “an unknown number of rounds from his service-issued sidearm,” according to a Border Patrol report.

Another agent fired at the men with his M4 rifle. Terry, shot in the back, “called out that he was hit and couldn’t feel his legs,” and soon lost consciousness.

Arellanes, 34, originally from El Fuerte, Mexico, and in the U.S. illegally, was wounded in the gun battle. He was one of four men arrested that night, and in a statement to the FBI, he admitted carrying a rifle. He said “he had raised his weapon towards the Border Patrol agents, but did not fire because he had realized that they were Border Patrol agents. At this time, he was shot,” according to a search warrant filed with the court.

The indictment confirms Arellanes, also known as Paye, was one of the men carrying an AK-47, along with 25 rounds of ammunition. It isn’t clear from the wording whether investigators believe Arellanes fired his weapon, but sources say he did not.

The indictment says the gunman who fired the fatal shot fled and is being sought.

In addition to second-degree murder, the 14-count indictment includes weapons and conspiracy charges. It includes at least two fugitive co-defendants whose identities remain under seal.

Arellanes’ trial is set for U.S. District Court in Tucson on June 17. A conviction on second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The indictment also raised the question about a possible link between the three other men arrested that night—and later deported—and the rip crew involved in Terry’s death.

Court records show that two of them—Francisco Rosario Camacho-Alameda, or Almeda, and Jose Angel-Camacho—had been previously deported at Nogales on Feb. 26, 2010. One of the unnamed fugitives now being sought had been previously deported at Nogales at practically the same time—”on or about Feb 25, 2010,” according to the indictment.

The three men—the third being Jesus Soria-Ruiz—were all illegal aliens. They were held for two months, initially on charges of re-entry after deportation, a felony carrying the possibility of two years in jail.

In February, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that an “extensive investigation” had yielded no evidence linking the three to the Terry shooting. The felony charges against them were reduced to misdemeanors; all three pleaded guilty and were sent back to Mexico.

Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, says there is no link between the fugitive named in the indictment and any of the men taken into custody that night. “They’re all different people,” he says. “We did not release people suspected of murder.”

But the deportation dates for Camacho-Alameda and Angel-Camacho, and their arrests on the night of the murder, mark two occasions when they were in relative proximity, in geography or timing, to the bandits who killed Terry.

“It’s certainly a world of extreme coincidence,” says Ron Colburn, who recently retired as national deputy chief of the Border Patrol.

He initially believed, along with others in the Border Patrol, that all four men arrested the night of the murder were involved. Now living in Arizona, Colburn is a founder of the BORTAC tactical unit, of which Terry was a part, and he keeps in close touch with the group. That includes the Border Patrolmen involved in the hunt for Terry’s killer.

In the first 48 hours after the murder, he kept getting calls from agents saying, ‘Ron, we think there were five, and we’re chasing one now, because we’ve already captured three, plus one is in the hospital.’ The agents hunting the killer firmly believed all of the men arrested that night were in one pack, connected somehow to the rip crew.

No fifth suspect was ever found, says Sherwood.

Colburn says he was having lunch with Matt Allen, the special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona, the day that word got out that the three men would be sent back to Mexico. Colburn felt “emotionally pulled toward trying to do something rather than just letting them walk.”

He felt so strongly that he appealed to Allen to intervene. But Allen said it wasn’t his case. Colburn describes Allen shrugging, as if to say, “What can I do?”

After the U.S. Attorney’s strong denial, Colburn—who has led BORTAC missions in the Peck Canyon Corridor—says he is willing to believe the three deportees were not involved in the Terry episode. But their pattern of behavior indicates they weren’t ordinary illegal aliens. “I suspect they may have been connected with drug- or people-smuggling, or they were part of some rip crew,” he says.

In an e-mail, former U.S. Attorney Bates Butler, now a criminal defense lawyer in Tucson, tells the Tucson Weekly that he has spoken to a lawyer with knowledge of the matter who also stated that the three were not involved.

“The three others were found about one mile from the shooting, along the same trail used by the shooters, which I suppose accounts for the agents believing that they had tracked the shooters back to the three,” Butler’s e-mail says. “Apparently the trail was oftentimes used by many.” He declined to reveal the lawyer’s name.

In a phone conversation, Butler speculated that Arellanes began cooperating with investigators, and the information he provided about that night—and the others in the crew—led to the indictment. “I’m not surprised Arellanes got charged with second-degree if he is cooperating,” says Butler.

As the Weekly reported on April 21 (see “The Brothers Arellanes”), Arellanes has a criminal past in Maricopa County that includes domestic abuse and assault on a police officer. He also has been a heavy meth user, the drug of choice among smugglers and coyotes because of the boost it gives to keep them walking.

As in many cases of border violence, the issue of illegals re-entering the country after being deported following earlier crimes plays a central role in the Terry murder. Arellanes had been previously removed at Nogales on June 14, 2010. Another unnamed co-defendant had been previously deported at Nogales on Oct. 19, 2010, the indictment says.

Jesus Soria-Ruiz, one of the men arrested the night of Terry’s murder who was later deported, has a lengthy record. Court records show he was arrested near Nogales on Jan. 29, 2006, and again near Nogales on July 14, 2010.

A man believed to be Manuel Arellanes’ brother, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, was arrested two days before the Terry murder in Rio Rico, near the Peck Corridor. He has a criminal record in this country and told a Maricopa County probation officer in 2004 that he had done time in Mexico for homicide.

Rito is still being held on a charge of re-entry after deportation. He, too, had been previously deported through Nogales, on Feb. 11, 2010. If the pattern holds, he will plead to a misdemeanor, get time served and be deported again, rather than being tried and given substantial jail time—which means Border Patrol agents would risk encountering him again in the canyons, and Peck Corridor residents will risk encountering him in their backyards.

The same applies to many prior deports and explains why smuggling corridors such as the one through Peck Canyon are so out of control. Consequences are minimal; the law does not deter.

Butler cautions, however, that a solution would require more prisons, prosecutors and judges, and he doesn’t think people are prepared to pay the taxes necessary to hold jury trials for, and then jail, all of those offenders convicted on felony re-entry.

But one fact is undeniable: The border along these smuggling corridors is largely open, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s claim of a secure border is laughable.


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