Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie and two other agents were investigating an area 6 miles west of Bisbee, AZ when shots were fired at them. Agent Ivie died and another agent was wounded. Ivie was murdered in the same area where drug cartel members, using guns from the government gun walking Operation Fast and Furious, murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010.
President Obama’s administration tries to claim the border is as ‘secure as ever.’ Evidence continues to pile up that this is untrue and this shooting is the latest incident. Locals and federal law enforcement know this area is a major drug smuggling corridor. Marijuana is the most popular drug and the smugglers constantly change their routes.
“It’s been an active corridor for years,” said Rodney Rothrock, interim Cochise County sheriff. “It fluctuates. Smugglers are readily adaptable, and if they start sensing or becoming aware of increased efforts to detect and apprehend them in one area, they will simply start operating in another.”
Ramona Sanchez, spokeswoman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration in Phoenix, backs up Mr. Rothrock and said drug smugglers breach the border, drop off their drugs, return to Mexico and start the cycle again.
“Because of its proximity to the border, it allows the smuggler to make a quick drop in a short period of time, anywhere from five to 10 minutes of exposure before dropping it off. And then, he makes his connection to the transporter, who drives it to the stash house,” Ms. Sanchez said. “It’s like a revolving door.”
The area used to be a hot spot for illegal immigrants that left behind clothes and food. Illegal immigration has dried up, but the drug smugglers continue to use the route. Lt. Floyd Gregory oversees the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit and he said human smuggling mules used to travel this route, with as many as fifteen people. Now groups only go in groups of two or four to evade law enforcement. All of these smugglers are well armed. We learned from the death of Agent Terry that our agents call only defend themselves with a bean bag gun.
Despite beefed up security in this area it remains extremely dangerous. The border is not secure as ever and more needs to be done.