SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Arizona — Securing this region of the Tucson Sector on the U.S.-Mexico border is perhaps the most complicated task a U.S. Border Patrol agent can face. Multiple mountain ranges, rugged terrain, plant life and caves that provide near perfect cover for drug smugglers and the well-trained cartel scouts who guide them to their drop points all distinguish this section of the Southwest border from the others. Border Patrol agents here see a significant shift in levels smuggling activity each September during the days before the Mexican independence day known as El Grito de Delores.
The transnational criminal groups operating under the banner of the Sinaloa Federation begin to call their scouts and drug mules home for the celebration. Sources in the U.S. Border Patrol tell Breitbart Texas that each year around this time there is a noticeable decrease in the level of activity. The real pros have simply gone home for their independence day.
Unlike the other uncontrolled sectors, the drug smugglers here are more advanced, more professional than most. The Border Patrol agents in this area do not see the short-term focused gangs of smugglers that are so common in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors of Texas. The smugglers here follow strict guidelines, often leaving no trash or evidence behind. They avoid interactions and conflict in an effort to keep the lines for their drugs free of unwanted attention–and the heavier law enforcement presence that such attention brings.
This isn’t to say that no activity occurs during the holiday, it’s just that less activity occurs. The region is generally organized and controlled by teams of cartel scouts that penetrate the porous U.S.-Mexico border and make their way along the sides of hills and mountains. They carefully avoid the valleys and ridgelines, as this makes it more difficult for Border Patrol agents to detect them. These scouts use advanced communications equipment to help get smugglers and loads through the various law enforcement agents on the ground. They monitor the whereabouts of every Border Patrol vehicle. To put it simply, the cartel scouts have total informational awareness about the movements of U.S. Border Patrol agents–often times up to 50 miles into the interior of the Unites States.
The holiday allows for less professional freelancers to take smaller loads of narcotics through the Sinaloa Federation’s territory in southern Arizona–something that would usually result in brutal repercussions if they were caught. A recent example of this was reported exclusively by this reporter and involved an illegal alien who was sodomized by armed gunmen in the desert west of Tucson. Breitbart Texas has learned that the victim was traveling through a Sinaloa federation narcotics corridor when scouts noticed him traversing their territory without the permission of the plaza boss. They likely dispatched their armed sicarios to teach the illegal alien and all others a brutal lesson–and that is just what they did. The victim spent hours receiving medical care and having shards of wood removed from his anal cavity.
The days surrounding Mexico’s independence day are not the only time the relationship between Border Patrol agents and cartel smugglers sees a dramatic change. The days surrounding Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving all bring dramatic shifts in activity. In the case of Easter and Christmas, the cartel scouts are often back home and not monitoring Arizona’s corridors–and the independent smugglers more safely deliver their drug loads. In the case of Thanksgiving, fewer Border Patrol agents are on duty and the cartels attempt to push as many loads through as possible.
Follow Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby on Twitter: @BrandonDarby