Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pinal County’s Drug Smuggling and Illegal Immigration Emergency

I sent this brief statement to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors in response to Chairman Rios' deciding not to hear Sheriff Babeu's proposal for dealing with drug and human smuggling in Pinal County. I also sent a copy to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office media relations deputy.

Chairman Rios,

In case you're too damn stupid to know what's going on in your county, I thought I'd send you a few pictures. My photos do most of my talking. Drug and human smuggling are serious problems in Pinal County. Sheriff Babeu was absolutely right in calling it an emergency.

More deputies are needed. In the mean time, heavily armed citizen patrols, like the ones I'm involved with, will continue and intensify. Despite being demonized as vigilantes and racists, we have made a difference. Of course, the media will be tagging along with us.

"Rios didn't immediately return calls from CBS 5 News, but he was tracked down at a county function at the Windmill Winery to ask why he didn't want to hear the sheriff's pitch." A winery!? WTF!? This sounds like drinking on the job to me. I suggest you pull you head out of that bottle and wake up.

Protect Pinal County and its' citizens!

ST Harry L. Hughes III
NSM-AZ Executive Officer/Media Spokesman

On my Facebook page. . .

Today's status: Anyone that puts the livelihood of drug and human smugglers over the safety and well being of tax paying citizens is a traitor in my book. Pinal County Board of Supervisors Chairman Pete Rios might end up eating crow.

Sheriff: Drug Spotters Living In Ariz. Caves

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- An Arizona sheriff said illegal immigrants have been living in caves and operating as drug spotters.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said deputies recently found communications equipment, a supply of food and binoculars in a cave near Sawtooth Mountain in Silverbell.

Chairman Rios promptly replies to my correspondence:

First of all, I don't drink wine, I drink Whiskey. Secondly, it was 6:00 PM and I went there to the Windmill to interview with Channel 5 when I got a call that they were there waiting for me. And if you are not intelligent enough to know you can't believe everything you hear and see on TV, then it's your problem!!!!!

On the subject at hand, thank you for your email on the Sheriff's proposed anti-human smuggling and anti-drug unit. I asked that the agenda item be rescheduled for anther date to provide our budget staff and myself additional time to attempt to identify the requested $1.5 million dollars over the next two years that the Sheriff is requesting. We only recently adopted the FY 2010-2011 county budget and the Sheriff had not included a funding request for such a unit.

As we all know the recession has hit all our families and all levels of government very hard. Pinal County has already eliminated 120 Full-Time Positions and laid-off 40 workers. Many other cost saving measures have also been executed. The Sheriff proposes we use our Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to fund his unit. We are already using $5 million dollars from this fund to balance this year's budget and we are expecting the State of Arizona to cost-shift millions of dollars more to counties when they go into session in January, 2011.

Sheriff Dever from Cochise County has such an anti-smuggling unit, but his unit is funded by the State of Arizona and the federal government. If Pinal County is experiencing such a huge increase in drug and human smuggling, which is the responsibility of the federal government; why aren't they funding this unit also? We need to explore these options and other options. Since many official government reports show that crime is declining in Arizona, can the Sheriff shift current personnel to this unit?

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors does intend to reschedule this work session on the proposed smuggling unit in the next several weeks. Again, thank you for your email and interest in Pinal County government.

Pete Rios, Chairman
Pinal County Board of Supervisors

At least Rios took the time to respond to my email. As we know, smuggling is a multi-billion dollar industry in this country. Large corporations and banks employ cheap undocumented labor and launder tons of drug money. These are facts. For these entities to be able to do this, they must gain the support of accomplices better known as politicians. We need to weed those criminal elements out of our government.

This whole problem seems to boil down to money. Regardless of how much money the government throws at a problem, they will always fail. From what Chairman Rios told me, I’m under the impression that the citizens of Pinal County aren’t worth protecting.

1 comment:

  1. Six days later. . . David Snider replies to my email. Once again, I get the impression that money is more important than the safety of Pinal County citizens. It appears that "passing the buck" on immigration is county policy.

    Illegal aliens made it across the border and now they are here. It has become a county problem, like it or not.

    In Pinal County, it's not about securing the border. It's about securing the county. That responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

    Dear Mr. Hughes:

    Thank you for your email message on this subject.

    That we have illegal immigrants coming through Pinal County is not subject to debate. I have flown over District 3 -- western Pinal County -- any number of times and have seen the paths that emerge from the Tohono O'odham Nation and lead north. The discussion about securing the border has been in play for years -- and I believe that we all agree that securing the border is the responsibility of the federal government.

    Sheriff Babeu is calling his proposal an emergency proposal. However, as Pinal County looked to prepare its FY2011 budget, the first six months of 2010 were devoted to refining our Strategic Agenda, identifying the key areas of concern for the county's resources and activities, and working with all of the county's elected officials (including Sheriff Babeu) to craft budgets that reflected those priorities. A special interdiction squad was never broached during that process, nor were there any discussions with the Board of Supervisors about the need for special armaments for PCSO deputies.

    The Board will meet with the Sheriff for a work session on this issue in October. At that time we will explore the issues to see if we can reach resolution on the Sheriff's proposal.

    I remain particularly concerned about the continued portrayal of Pinal County in a negative light on local, state, and national media. Yes, there is a problem with immigration. However, we will only succeed at attracting residents, businesses, and jobs to Pinal County by toning down the rhetoric and working constructively with the federal and state partners that have direct jurisdiction over the immigration issue.


    Pinal County Supervisor David Snider

    David Snider, Supervisor

    Pinal County District 3
    820 E. Cottonwood Lane
    Casa Grande, AZ 85122

    V 520.836.0003
    F 520.836.3876

    To me "toning it down" means to turn you back on this serious issue. Obviously, David Snider doesn't speak for me. He's interested in attracting business. That's not going to happen, if the county is a sanctuary for foreign criminals.