The October 2 shooting death of Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie brought national media to Arizona’s Cochise County. After a few days, when investigators determined that the killing was a tragic a case of friendly fire, the media packed up and left.
Most of their stories will go unaired and unpublished, and that’s a shame. With the election looming, voters needs to hear the truth at a time when Washington is spinning the nation into believing that the mission of securing the border has been accomplished. Nothing to see here, folks — we’ve got this under control.
Not even close, says rancher John Ladd.
His San Jose Ranch sits right on the Arizona-Mexico line, ten and a half miles of land stretching from the town of Naco west toward the San Pedro River. Border Patrol has three camera towers on his property, an eye-in-the-sky Cyclops, and sensors hidden in the desert shrubs that activate when smugglers pass. A pedestrian fence (pictured below) blocks the entire ten and a half miles.
None of these security measures have worked.
Since the end of February, Ladd has had at least nine drug drive-throughs across his land involving 21 trucks. The smugglers cut the mesh border fence and pull it down, then ramp over the vehicle barrier just inside it. In most cases they tack-weld the fence back up and brush out tracks to disguise the incursion.
Eight of these episodes occurred in broad daylight, and in two of them the smugglers passed within 50 feet of a camera tower.