For Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, it’s come to this.

Posted on December 21, 2010

Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu  is fed up with the weak response the Department of Homeland Security has shown when it comes to enforcing our border security.  Last summer one of his deputies was shot by suspected smugglers, and the Sheriff can recount endless stories involving both drug and illegal immigrant smugglers in his county.  But in the wake of the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, Sheriff Babeu is no longer going to play defense.  Offense it is, and nothing less than lethal force is the rule:

The Pinal county sheriff’s office has been recently in the spotlight for sniffing out smugglers and their drug loads. Sheriff Paul Babeu tells KGUN9 News he’s about to go on the offensive with a massive show of force to stop smugglers and bandits.

“We’re sending out three different teams of eight to 15 deputies in each that are heavily armed even with sniper teams out to the desert at all hours of the day and night,” Babeu said.

Typically, deputies would sneak up on smugglers before arresting them, but Babeu says not this time.

“We’re going to wait until these cartel members come on through and we’re going to announce ourselves in Spanish in this known drug smuggling corridor. That this is the sheriff drop your weapons, you’re under arrest,” Babeu said.

The sheriff admits the chances of having a gun fight are extremely high. After all this is the same desert where one of his deputies was shot and where they’ve seized thousands of pounds of drugs. Babeu says deadly force will be used if his deputies confront dangerous cartels.

“I’ve given specific instruction, no less than lethal force is going to be used. It’s all lethal force only and we go into that environment knowing that we’re likely expecting an armed threat from these people,” Babeu said.

KGUN 9 News caught up with county supervisor Pete Rios to ask him what he thinks about Babeu’s latest tactic.

“My hope would have been that the federal government would have taken this kind of risk. To some extent I’m concerned for the brave men and women in Pinal County that work for the sheriff,” Rios said (emphasis mine)

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Department: doing the job the federal government refuses to do. 


Posted in: Arizona