Drug cartels ‘control’ Arizona-Mexico border, rancher says

by WorldTribune Staff, February 28, 2017

An Arizona rancher said that Mexican drug cartels operate with impunity along the Arizona-Mexico border.

“The Sinaloa cartel has cartel scouts on our mountains and they essentially control the area,” rancher Jim Chilton told KPNX 12News.

Rancher Jim Chilton owns 50,000 acres along the Arizona-Mexico border. /12News photo

Chilton has set up hidden motion-sensor-activated cameras that he says have captured hundreds of smugglers crossing the border, often geared up with high tech equipment including military grade satellite phones, radios and binoculars.

“We’ve seen cartel guys with AK-47s and 20 guys packing drugs behind them. It can be pretty scary,” said Chilton.

“We have had MS13 (Mara Salvatrucha 13) standing in our front yard, with all the teardrops and stuff. It’s pretty scary and with my wife at home by herself its worrisome,” the rancher said. “I’ve had as many as 17 drug packers standing in my front yard. I looked out the peep hole, took my rifle, stepped out like this, ‘agua…agua.’ I go over, turn the hose on, everybody gets a drink of water and I say, ‘adios’ and they go on.”

Five and a half miles of Chilton’s 50,000 acres border Mexico.

Chilton said the fence that borders his property is made only of barbwire and steel posts. It’s the only thing that separates the U.S. and Mexico for about 25 miles.

“This whole area, on my ranch and my neighbor’s ranch, ceded to the Sinaloa cartel,” Chilton said. “Any young, 19, 20-year-old throws his pack of drugs over the fence, crawls under or over and walks into the United States. There’s no Border Patrol.”

Chilton said he voted for President Donald Trump because of his border wall plan.

“If good people could understand the issues and the implications, they would come to the conclusions that we need to secure the border and have forward operation bases near the border,” he said.