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EXCLUSIVE: Cartel Smugglers, Migrants Growing More Violent Against Border Patrol Agents

US Border Patrol agent Richard Funke patrols along the border fence between Arizona and Mexico at the town of Nogales on July 28, 2010. A federal judge blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's new immigration law, barring police from checking the immigrant status of suspected criminals. The ruling came …
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
BRANDON DARBY

TUCSON, Arizona — Sinaloa Cartel-linked smugglers and migrants are growing more violent against U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector as penalties for their crimes stiffen. Realizing that being caught now means almost certain prosecution and incarceration, the smugglers and migrants are increasingly becoming violent with Border Patrol agents in remote border regions in efforts to escape and evade justice.

Border Patrol Agent Art Del Cueto, speaking to Breitbart Texas in his role as National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) spokesman, stated, “The smugglers are definitely becoming more violent with our agents. They now try to evade arrest and even use force to get away from us where during the Obama years they would joke with us and not mind being caught. They knew, back then, that they would get away with violating our laws.”

Agent Del Cueto continued, “We are talking about significant force and violence being used against our agents. Very recently, one smuggler slammed a large rock into the side of an agent’s head.”

The growing violent tendencies are not limited to the cartel’s drug smugglers, according to Agent Del Cueto. “Even the illegal aliens who aren’t smuggling dope are growing more violent as they now face consequences for illegally entering. Before they would be let go the next day or so, now they face incarceration for illegally entering. They are willing to do anything possible to evade us.”

With the increased aggression levels on the part of the foreign nationals, the agents are forced to be on a higher alert level and willing to use higher level of force to defend their lives. Agent Del Cueto stated, “It’s a concern because when we use force we are put under a microscope and everything we do is scrutinized by different investigative bodies. There was a culture of destroying the lives of Border Patrol agents during the past presidential administration and unfortunately, that culture hasn’t yet completely dissipated.”

Though the Sinaloa Cartel or Federation controls the U.S.-Mexico border in this sector, the cartel is actually a collective of numerous regional criminal groups that simply operate under the banner of “Sinaloa Cartel.” The Tucson sector is largely controlled by two of such regional groups, Los Memos and Los Salazar. The groups are engaged in frequent clashes with each other and Los Salazar has begun using armed scouts to enter U.S. territory, according to sources in Border Patrol who asked to remain anonymous. One source told Breitbart Texas, “We have them on video with AK-47s, but we haven’t caught them. They most likely wouldn’t use them on random U.S. citizens, but have them for rip crews and to prevent Los Memos or U.S. gangs from stealing their drug loads. Be careful in the Huachuca Mountains right now.”

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.

(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)

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