Since our earlier post about a letter sent by several mayors of cities along the U.S./Mexico border to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, the sheriff's responded with a letter of his own.
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The letter from the border mayors to Babeu asked that he tone down some of the rhetoric he's been using in describing the violence of Mexican drug cartels spilling into the United States -- namely, his recent assertion that an armed showdown in the desert between law enforcement agencies and drug cartels is imminent.
Check it out here.
Babeu's spokesman, Tim Gaffney, sent New Times the sheriff's response, which you can see in its entirety below.
Pinal County is the number one county in the United States for drug and human trafficking. Our pursuits and drug seizures tied to drug and human trafficking far exceed those of the four border counties. The threat from an unsecured border, where 241,000 illegals were apprehended last year by the border patrol and an additional 400,000 got away. Those are failing grades by anyone's score card.
Some speak of improved safety, while we have doubled the confiscation of drugs, calls to the Border Patrol and had 340 vehicle pursuits this year -- up from 286 the year before and 142 the year prior. We have a serious public safety threat in my county, due to an unsecured border with Mexico and our nation should be highly concerned about the more dangerous national security threat that is presented with OTM's and persons from countries of interest (that harbor/sponsor terrorist or speak ill of the USA).
Just this week, the US Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Pinal County has a minimum of 75-100 mountains or high terrain features that are occupied by Mexican Drug Cartels. How have we arrived at this point in America that this is acceptable to have foreign born criminals controlling safe passage in an entire region of our state?
If these Mayors were serious about dialogue with me, they would have called, or at least waited for there letter to arrive by mail at my office, prior to releasing their letter to the media. They have done the very thing they accuse me of doing. I do not represent these Mayors or their citizens, yet I do represent the nearly 400,000 citizens of my county and the overwhelming majority of Arizonans, who laugh at Secretary Napolitano's suggestion that our border is more secure than ever.