On Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at approximately 7:30 AM, ST Thora Jaeger and myself conducted a trash pick up in the Sonoran Desert National Monument. We focused on an area approximately one mile south of Interstate 8 on Vekol Road. This is the infamous drug corridor that is frequently the scene of fatal shootings related to drug and human smuggling.
Prior to entering the area, we observed a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy parked on the shoulder, north of the interstate. As we turned south, I noticed a backpack and a copper colored sleeping bag sitting in a pile near the shoulder of the road. It hadn't been there for very long. The gear was tattered and torn, indicating that its' owner traversed thick and thorny vegetation. I was certain that the illegal alien that dropped his/her stuff was long gone.
We continued on our journey southbound to a secluded and abandoned gravel pit that's frequently used by target shooters who aren't too good at picking up after themselves.
Not long after parking my truck and making a preliminary inspection of the area,(to make sure nobody's hiding in the bushes) a B.L.M. Ranger pulled up and spoke with me. He indicated that the area had been rather active with drug smugglers. According to a local media report, a load containing 1700 pounds of marijuana, along with a stolen truck, was recently recovered in that vicinity.
Once the ranger and I were finished talking, it was time to go to work. We retrieved a couple of shot up washing machines, microwave ovens,various car parts, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. After less than two hours, we loaded 541 pounds of junk into the back of my truck.
Following a short patrol that paralleled Interstate 8 to the gate on the Pinal County line, we transported our junk to the local recycling facility in Maricopa, AZ. Our year to date total is now, 4645 pounds.
After several months of aggressively collecting trash from the desert, we are beginning to have some difficulty in finding trash to pick up. Our goal is to continue observing and reporting unlawful drug and human smuggling activities, while making the Sonoran Desert National Monument a more pleasant and enjoyable place for recreational visitors.
SSGT Harry L Hughes III
Director, N.S.M. Region 11/N.S.M.-AZ Media Spokesman
N.S.M.-MEDIA Associate Producer
PCSO Air Unit locates stolen truck, marijuana
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Air Unit on Wednesday assisted federal authorities with locating a stolen truck with more than 1,700 pounds of marijuana in Vekol Valley, a rural area south of Maricopa.
At approximately 3p.m., agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, who were actively tracking multiple drug loads heading north from the Tohono O’odham reservation into Pinal County, requested air support from PCSO. http://www.inmaricopa.com/Article/2012/03/30/pcso-air-unit-drug-trafficking-vekol-valley
I'm pleased to see that our new air unit is helping to catch bad guys. Unfortunately, there are a few nay sayers out there pooping in the punch bowl. I'm aware that keeping a helicopter in the air is an expensive venture, but since the federal government isn't stepping up to the plate, it's the duty of the sheriff to protect our people from drug and human smugglers.
PCSO, Babeu under federal investigation
FLORENCE, AZ - The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is under federal investigation for allegations of using public resources for political campaigns and is not cooperating with certain requests for evidence, according to documents obtained by the ABC15 Investigators. http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/pcso-babeu-under-federal-investigation#ixzz1r8lgaOT3
It's obvious that the Feds are looking to step on, harass and discredit Arizona sheriffs that exercise initiative in the fight against illegal immigration and the illegal drug trade. Sheriff Babeu has also been very critical of the government's horribly failed operation known as “Fast and Furious”. The Department of Justice is also attacking Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
I think this is nothing less than treachery from an incompetent and corrupt federal government. They failed, so let's attack those that are trying to enforce the law.
I crossed paths with Sheriff Paul Babeu at Maricopa's Salsa Festival Saturday afternoon (March 31. 2012). As usual, he was all smiles and handshakes. I'm sure this matter only compounds his other compounding troubles. I hope the PSCO and Sheriff Babeu resolve these troubling issues in a timely and professional manner.
“I'm a 9th generation American and patriot (1737). My forefathers served in the Pennsylvania Militia. On June 27, 1781, they were called to perform a tour of duty. I'm still protecting freedom and securing the border, 275 years later.” --Harry L Hughes III