Drug runners and our deadly Southern border

Drug runners and our deadly Southern border

December 12th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

A federal grand jury indictment in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent paints a disturbing picture of how dangerous our nation's Southern border has become.

The indictment is related to the shooting death of agent Brian Terry last December.

It says that five illegal aliens had not only entered the United States along the Arizona-Mexico border but were armed with assault rifles and were actively hunting Border Patrol agents. The illegal aliens were literally "patrolling" the border with the aim of attacking agents, The Washington Times reported after reviewing the indictment. The area in question is known for drug smuggling.

Four agents spotted the men and identified themselves as law enforcement officers, the indictment stated. But rather than surrender or flee, the illegal aliens opened fire. Tragically, agent Terry, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine, was shot in the back and died on the scene when a bullet pierced his aorta.

The agents captured one of the illegal aliens, but the others escaped. The captured man faces a charge of second-degree murder. Compounding the tragedy, he had been convicted of felony aggravated assault in Arizona previously and had been detained twice in 2010 as an illegal alien, The Washington Times reported. He was returned again and again to Mexico, though given his record, he should have been serving a long prison term.

The vice president of an organization that represents 17,000 Border Patrol agents called the slaying of Brian Terry "a real wake-up call."

"It emphasizes the failed state of security on the U.S. border, which poses more of a threat to us than either Iraq or Afghanistan," said Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council. "We have terrorism going on right on the other side of the fence ... . My biggest fear is that someday a cartel member is going to go berserk, stick a rifle through the fence and kill as many Border Patrol agents as he can."

Leaders of Mexican drug cartels, meanwhile, have offered large bounties for Border Patrol agents and other U.S. authorities.

It is long overdue for the federal government to get serious about the threat of illegal immigration and drug smuggling along our border with Mexico.