Border Patrol Outgunned


Thin Black Line
October 18, 2006, 07:45 AM
I seem to recall not too long ago that the Mexican AG was complaining
about US weapons coming into Mexico, well, now it's our turn to complain.
Last I checked, you can't buy "automatic assault weapons, bazookas,
grenade launchers and improvised explosive devices" off the shelf anywhere

Oct. 17, 2006, 5:28PM

Border Patrol, lawmen outgunned by cartels

Homeland Security panel also says traffickers are forming ties with U.S.-based gangs

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The U.S. Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies at the U.S.-Mexico border are outgunned by increasingly ruthless and well-armed Mexican drug cartels, a new congressional report concludes.

"The cartels use automatic assault weapons, bazookas, grenade launchers and improvised explosive devices," the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee report said. "In contrast, U.S. Border Patrol agents are issued 40-caliber Beretta semiautomatic pistols."

The report, scheduled to be released today by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said drug cartels are able to break the encryptions on Border Patrol and sheriffs' deputies' radios.

"Lookouts for the cartels, using military grade equipment, are positioned at strategic points on the U.S. side of the border to monitor movements of U.S. law enforcement," it continued.

Fear of terrorism

Even as the traffickers expand their drugrunning routes to smuggle immigrants into the United States, they are forming dangerous alliances with U.S.-based criminal gangs such as MS-13 and the Latin Kings, according to the congressional panel.

McCaul, whose district stretches into western Harris County, chairs the subcommittee.

The former federal prosecutor expressed concern that trafficking networks could use their delivery routes to smuggle terrorists or weapons of mass destruction into the U.S.

"The thing that keeps me up at night when I think 'What can we do to prevent another 9/11?' is that they own these delivery routes," he said in an interview Monday.

Hezbollah members already have entered the U.S. from Mexico, the report confirmed.

"As if narco-terrorist violence were not enough, extensions of Middle East terrorism have crept into the United States," the report stated. "Islamic radical groups that support Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamiya Al Gamat are all active in Latin America."

McCaul said he commissioned the report to bring focus to the national security threat and rising violence at the border, which has witnessed a spree of murders and kidnappings linked to warring drug cartels, particularly in Nuevo Laredo.

The federal government has added Border Patrol agents, detention beds and high-tech surveillance systems to deter illegal crossings, he said, with less attention to the border's other problems.

"We put billions of dollars in trying to stop the flow coming in, in a more reactive way, and what I'm suggesting is we also need to take a look at the other piece of this problem and identify what is the root cause and attack the root cause head on," he said. "In my view, the head of the snake is the cartels."

McCaul urged better intelligence gathering in Mexico and Latin America. And he called for greater cooperation with the Mexican government to crack down on the cartels.

Still, he acknowledged that expanding the partnership is difficult in light of persistent corruption in Mexican law enforcement ranks and the deadly attacks the cartels have launched on Mexican authorities.

Growing population

Citing federal estimates that the Border Patrol apprehends only 10 percent to 30 percent of illegal crossers, the report said as many as 10 million illegal immigrants may have entered the U.S. last year.

Estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center and other experts peg the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. at 11 million to 12 million.

And while federal law enforcement seized 1.1 million pounds of cocaine and 6.8 million pounds of marijuana, McCaul's staff estimated the total cocaine flow may have topped 11 million pounds.

"While the United States has taken positive steps to secure its borders, much more is needed to combat an increasingly powerful, sophisticated, organized and violent criminal network which seeks to move illegal contraband ... into our country for profit," the report concludes.

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Molon Labe
October 18, 2006, 07:59 AM
Read this ( book, and your questions will be answered.

October 18, 2006, 08:05 AM
Stopping the flow of drugs into this country is gonna happen regardless of what type of guns the Border Patrol is armed with. Americans want drugs, so drugs come into the country.

I'd like to see us use our military to make direct offensive strikes on the cartels and their operations... like in Clear and Present Danger. Countries like Mexico are too arrogant to allow something like that though.

October 18, 2006, 08:08 AM


October 18, 2006, 08:11 AM
Yet another example for why gun control will not work like its advocates hope. Criminals get drugs from over the border. Ban weapons and they will pour in like so many banned narcotics. Honestly when are people going to wise up? LAWS DO NOT MATTER TO CRIMINALS!

October 18, 2006, 09:14 AM
Is it really the Border Patrol's jurisdiction or sole jurisdiction to deal with drug trafficking? As far as I know, they are not authorized to shoot people attempting to cross. I believe they are authorized to shoot in self defense and are armed accordingly.

A DEA interdiction team would be a different matter altogether.

Anybody know the facts here?

October 18, 2006, 09:27 AM
Mexico blames US for porous boarders


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico complained on Saturday that U.S. authorities allow Mexican drug gangs to buy arms in the United States "as if they were candy" due to lax controls of gun sales in border states.
The Mexican attorney general's office said Mexican gangs make drug runs into the United States in light aircraft and return loaded up with weapons.

"Unfortunately, the United States does not have adequate control of guns shops in the border area and they sell arms as if they were candy," senior prosecutor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos told a news conference.

He said the attorney general's office is working with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives against arms trafficking.

Mexico is particularly concerned about arms like the Barrett .50 caliber rifle. he said. The semi-automatic weapon, dubbed "The Widowmaker," can penetrate armored vehicles and aircraft.

"The big problem is that this type of weapon does not have adequate control in the United States. The trafficking of arms from the United States to Mexico unfortunately costs a lot of lives," said Vasconcelos, head of the organized crime unit.

A Barrett .50 caliber was among a number of assault weapons seized in a raid that captured the alleged main hit man of the infamous Arellano Felix drug gang in the border city of Tijuana on Thursday.

The suspect, Mario Alberto Rivera, was wanted for the murder of a journalist in the city who campaigned against the drug cartels, which smuggle marijuana, cocaine and other narcotics across the border into the United States.

Gotta get me a widowmaker.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

October 18, 2006, 11:15 AM
Mexico complained on Saturday that U.S. authorities allow Mexican drug gangs to buy arms in the United States "as if they were candy" due to lax controls of gun sales in border states.

Funny how nothing was said to support whether guns were in fact purchased in border states or whether any gun dealers in particular had been identified. It makes a good story though and sets up the argument that something draconian must be done about the problem.

October 18, 2006, 11:30 AM
At the big Houston gun show last weekend even the Class 3 dealers didn't have the kind of hardware for sale that they are talking about in this article. So the drug runner's weapons most certainly did not come from any FFL in the US.


October 18, 2006, 12:50 PM
Now we know where the notion of the "armor-piercing/anit-tank/anti-aircraft .50 caliber rifle" comes from. Maybe they believe it is also a "bunker buster" and can shoot through mountains!?!?!:rolleyes:

October 18, 2006, 11:22 PM

And let Law Enforcment lose all the seizure money? Great idea however!

October 18, 2006, 11:26 PM
No stats no facts nothing, I am all for a well regulated militia and arming BP units with assault rifles and machine guns, they have a hard job and its a "thin green line" on the border, legalizing drugs would solve part of the problem.

Thin Black Line
October 19, 2006, 10:16 AM
I'll take guarding our border over sitting in the Green Zone in Baghdad any day...

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