Combat Operations in the Border Zone

Elites on the coasts don't want to recognize what can be described only as combat operations conducted north of the U.S. - Mexican border.

On April 30, a Pinal County Sheriff deputy was wounded by drug traffickers in a shootout about fifty miles south of Phoenix. Deputy Louie Puroll confronted five illegals who attacked him in an ambush. Puroll fought a twenty-minute gun battle with men armed with AK-47 assault rifles before being hit from behind. He was able to call for assistance on his cell phone. But until help arrived, Puroll fought the traffickers off with his pistol and his AR-15, the law enforcement version of the M-16 rifle issued to the U.S. military.

When that assistance arrived, along with a sheriff department helicopter, the chopper also came under fire. Eventually seventeen illegal immigrants were apprehended after a force of more than two hundred lawmen responded to Deputy Puroll's shooting.

In Cochise County, south and east of Tucson, fences are cut so drug traffickers can have access to the remote areas and avoid the roads and checkpoints of the Border Patrol. Small family businesses can't afford the time it takes to mend fences and check on cattle that may have strayed too far away. 

One rancher reported that between three and twelve hundred people cross his ranch every day. They vandalize his property, steal his vehicles, and leave garbage everywhere. The same man has found seventeen dead bodies on his ranch over the last two years -- those of "mules," or people used to transport drugs across the border, then shot.

Another rancher says drugs cross his land daily. A point man with a machine gun enters, then more guards follow about a half-mile behind. Next are the backpackers carrying the drugs (the mules), followed by more armed men providing security in the rear -- all at half-mile intervals. Gunfire can be heard in the night in many of the remote parts of this area near the Arizona-New Mexico border. According to State Senator Sylvia Allen, 80% of the law officers killed or wounded in Arizona were attacked by illegal aliens.

Robert Krentz, who was killed in March, was known to be kind to illegal immigrants. He often gave water to those in need, who walked miles under the brutal Arizona sun. Krentz radioed his brother, telling him he was going to the aid of an illegal immigrant in need of medical attention. His kindness got him killed. 

In west Texas, Mexican Army vehicles cross the border supporting drug trafficking. One report indicated an Army vehicle, with machine guns mounted on it, two hundred yards inside the U.S. border. Agents from the Fort Hancock Border Patrol Station called for backup after confronting six men in Mexican military uniforms and driving military vehicles north of the Rio Grande. Chief Deputy of Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department Mike Doyal said, "It happens quite often here."

Also in Texas, helicopters from the Mexican Army and Navy have crossed the border. Several civilians and members of law enforcement witnessed these crossings. This cannot be a helicopter that is lost or having navigational problems -- the Rio Grande clearly delineates Mexico from the United States at that location. There is no reasonable explanation coming from the U.S. or Mexican government why these helicopters are in American airspace. 

It doesn't take my 23 years of military service to recognize that these are combat patrols. The ambush is one of the most basic tactics trained by every army in the world. Deputy Puroll engaged a number of suspects and was shot from behind. That indicates that the drug traffickers maneuvered on the deputy -- one man provided "cover fire" while another moved in for the shot. A combat patrol with automatic weapons, front and rear security, and moving in proper intervals indicates at least a certain level of military training. Incursions into American airspace by Mexican helicopters and ground vehicles, ground fire against a sheriff department chopper, and armed men protecting drugs on ranches in Arizona are all indications of a force conducting combat operations. 

Robert Krentz was killed the day after 280 pounds of marijuana was seized on his ranch. Krentz was known to give water to those illegal immigrants who needed it. It doesn't take much analysis to know that Krentz paid for the loss of the drugs with his life. It is likely that drug traffickers knew that Robert Krentz would bring water and therefore provide an opportunity to be ambushed. This indicates that the drug traffickers are collecting intelligence, analyzing it, and using it to conduct their operations.

This is war. Drug traffickers are using military tactics and techniques to get their products across the border. They carry automatic weapons and use vehicles with machine guns mounted on them. They are ready and willing to kill anybody who gets in their way. It's time to close the southern border.

TJ Woodard is a retired Army officer who lives less than ten miles from the Mexican border. He carries a pistol even in his own house in order to be prepared to defend his family whenever necessary.
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