Thursday, February 02, 2006

Deputy: Things "getting personal" after Border Incursion; Families, Officers Threatened

According to law enforcement officials directly involved in the border incursion two weeks ago, the cross-border confrontations are "getting personal."
The confrontation started ten days ago with drug smugglers trying to bring illegal drugs across the border in SUV's east of El Paso. Mexican authorities have now removed the SUV that got stuck in the Rio Grande and was torched by men in military uniforms on January 23rd.
While there are few signs remaining of last week's standoff, matters are anything but calm in Hudspeth County. According to law enforcement officials, things are escalating on the border in Hudspeth County.
During a ride-along Thursday with the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department, one deputy, who has been with the department since the 1960's, told ABC-7 that this is the most tense matters have ever been along this area of the border.
In the past few days, Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department deputies and their families have received threats to stay off the Rio Grande. Sheriff Arvin West told ABC-7 Thursday morning, before departing for Houston that the Mexican military is behind all of this.
Sheriff West said, "There is no doubt in my mind -- from the first time going back to a couple of years ago and every time in between --- it's the Mexican military. In a nutshell, everybody's been trying to tell everybody that they were here...they've been here ...[and] they come here quite often, regularly."
Now Sheriff West is having to deal with threats being made against his deputies and their families. One Sheriff's Deputy, who refused to appear on camera out of fear, described the situation today in Hudspeth County as "very dangerous." and now, he said, "it's getting personal."
The deputy added that "he is very leery of a firefight erupting on the border just east of El Paso."

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