Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu is raising money to privately outfit his officers with body armor and more powerful weapons because he and his deputies say they can’t compete with the cartels, especially when it comes to weapons. He even has a website asking for donations. Babeu says the Obama Administration needs to help the state of Arizona, not sue it. ” I'd like to invite President Obama to come here, to Pinal County, to come here and see this drug and human smuggling corridor, to see for himself, 80 miles, 70 miles, 90 miles deep into our state, into America, what's going on,” says Babeu.
The area north of the Interstate 8 in Pinal County, Arizona is a lay up point in a well-known smuggling corridor. It’s more than 70 miles from the Mexican border and yet, when you look around it’s littered with evidence of human and drug smugglers.
Millions of dollars of cargo come through this valley. In fact, the cartels have lookouts at the high points, so they know when police are coming and they'll stop the load from coming through by radio.
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"Our normal patrol deputy is out manned and outgunned in the area,” says Deputy Matt Thomas. “They're coming from Mexico with AK-47s, with AR-15- style rifles."
And once they come in, the illegal immigrants hike a short distance to the interstate to be picked up. On their feet they wear “magic shoes”, pieces of carpet to disguise their footprints. Some bring bundles of marijuana to the freeway.
The drugs are then loaded into waiting vans. Deputy Marc Miller recently had a big bust after a high-speed chase.
“In the back seat was a bundle of marijuana and on the floor board where the passenger in the back seat ran from was two fully-loaded AK-47s, two 9 millimeters,” says Miller.
The Cartel Corridor
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