February 10, 2011 | 8:37am
So, according to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, armed conflict between his deputies and members of the Mexican drug cartels are imminent, probably "in the next 30 to 60 days."
Yet, on the heels of that prediction, here's
a concurrent story in which Alan Bersin, the head of the federal Customs and Border Protection agency crows that a previously little-known task force of U.S. and Mexican police forces have teamed to seize record numbers of drugs and undocumented immigrants--and have focused much attention on Babeu's own jurisdiction about 70 miles north of the border.
The words political and gamesmanship come to mind.
Bersin studiously mentioned the feds' presence in the Vekol Valley, south of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend in Pinal County--yup, that's where former deputy Louie Puroll
said he got shot by a gang of dopers last year in what turned into quite a story.
That remote and well-documented smuggling zone (we've spent some time out there--don't go bird-watching in the area for the foreseeable future!) is precisely where Babeu says his SWAT team is primed to start shooting if (he says when) they come upon some bad guys and their dope or whatever.
We can guarantee this:
More face time for Paul on Fox News, where he has become a fixture (surely to the dismay of veteran narcissist Sheriff Joe Arpaio), and an "incident" out in the desert that may or may not be blown way out of proportion by an embedded "news team" of some sort.