We reported two months ago that there is a new twist in the on going war along the U.S.-Mexico border: Mexican smugglers now use “cloned” Border Patrol vehicles to smuggle drugs into the United States. There is an added danger here, as Mexican drug cartels have launched an assassination campaign against U.S. law enforcement personnel along the border; driving a Border Patrol look-alike vehicle allows the assailants to get closer to their targets without arousing suspicion (“Mexican smugglers clone Border Patrol vehicles to evade detection,” 12 April 2010 HSNW).
Speculation about death threats by Mexican drug cartels toward U.S. law enforcement has been widespread for some time, but this is the first time U.S. officials along the border confirmed a case.
CNN’s Nick Valencia reports that the threats began less than two weeks ago, after off-duty police officers from the Nogales police department seized several hundred pounds of marijuana from a drug smuggling operation they stumbled upon while horseback riding in the eastern fringes of Nogales, the chief said. The smugglers in the incident managed to flee into Mexico before they could be detained, Nogales Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham told CNN.