Drug smugglers and coyotes targeting law enforcement along US-Mexican border

Lawlessness begets lawlessness. All you have to do is Google “Nuevo Laredo” to see that. That city, just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, TX, is more or less run by drug cartels. Jerry Seper’s story in today’s Washington Times reports that smugglers and drug runners are starting to target US Border Patrol and local law enforcement officers.

Alien and drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexico border have spawned a rise in violence against federal, state and local law-enforcement authorities, who say they are outmanned and outgunned.

“They’ve got weapons, high-tech radios, computers, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems, spotters and can react faster than we are able to,” said Shawn P. Moran, a 10-year U.S. Border Patrol veteran who serves as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 in San Diego.

“And they have no hesitancy to attack the agents on the line, with anything from assault rifles and improvised Molotov cocktails to rocks, concrete slabs and bottles,” he said. “There are so many agent ‘rockings’ that few are even reported anymore. If we wrote them all up, that’s all we would be doing.”

Assaults against Border Patrol agents have more than doubled over the past two years, many by Mexico-based alien and drug gangs more inclined than ever to use violence as a means of ensuring success in the smuggling of people and contraband.

It’s at this point that a lot of folks will bring up the Compean/Ramos trial, and there’s probably a there there: Prosecuting BP officers on the word of a drug smuggler can have unintended consequences. Among those might be a new perception on the part of smugglers and criminals that law enforcement officers will be more hesitant to draw their weapon in the wake of that case. And, the officers themselves might factor that case into their own actions as they make split second decisions.

But that case probably accounts for a tiny fraction of the increase in violence. It looks like the drug gangs are learning tactics from terrorists, which might be an unintended consequence of video sharing sites allowing jihadists to posts their training videos online. Or the increase in violence and firepower might suggest connections to military or police of a state or states in the region.

Several agents noted that many of the alien- and drug-smuggling gangs targeting law-enforcement authorities are doing so with sophisticated weaponry. They noted that in February, an ICE-led task force seized two completed improvised explosive devices, materials for making 33 more devices, 300 primers, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, five grenades, nine pipes with end caps, 26 grenade triggers, 31 grenade spoons, 40 grenade pins, 19 black powder casings, a silencer and cash during raids in Laredo, Texas.

Where are they getting that stuff?