Border Patrol Locked out of Indian Reservation Known for Mexican Drug Trafficking

by Judicial Watch  |  published on May 25, 2016

An Indian reservation along the Mexican border is prohibiting the Border Patrol from entering its land, which is a notorious smuggling corridor determined by the U.S. government to be a “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).” Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that the road in the southeast corner of the reservation has been cordoned off by a barbed wired gate to keep officers out. A hand-written cardboard sign reading “Closed, Do Not Open” has been posted on the fence. “This is the location used most for trafficking drugs into the country,” a Border Patrol source told JW, adding that agents assigned to the area are “livid.”

The tribe, Tohono O’odham, created the barricade a few weeks ago, Border Patrol sources tell JW, specifically to keep agents out of the reservation which is located in the south central Arizona Sonoran Desert and shares about 75 miles of border with Mexico. The reservation terrain consists largely of mountains and desert making it difficult to patrol. For years it has appeared on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) HIDTA list because it’s a significant center of illegal drug production, manufacturing, importation and distribution. The reservation is a primary transshipment zone for methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana destined for the United States, a DEA official revealed in congressional testimony a few years ago. In 2015 Arizona led all four Border Patrol sectors in drug seizures with 928,858 pounds of drugs confiscated, according to agency figures.

The relationship between the Border Patrol and the tribe has been stormy over the years, with accusations of human rights violations by federal agents and allegations that the agents’ presence has implemented a police state. Though only 75 miles runs along the Mexican border, the reservation is about 2.8 million acres or roughly the size of Connecticut and has about 30,000 members. The tribe’s official website says that nine of its communities are located in Mexico and they are separated by the United States/Mexico border. “In fact, the U.S.-Mexico border has become an artificial barrier to the freedom of the Tohono O’odham,” the tribe claims. “On countless occasions, the U.S. Border Patrol has detained and deported members of the Tohono O’odham Nation who were simply traveling through their own traditional lands, practicing migratory traditions essential to their religion, economy and culture. Similarly, on many occasions U.S. Customs have prevented Tohono O’odham from transporting raw materials and goods essential for their spirituality, economy and traditional culture. Border officials are also reported to have confiscated cultural and religious items, such as feathers of common birds, pine leaves or sweet grass.”

A New York Times story published years ago explained that tightening of border security to the east and west after the 9/11 terrorist attacks funneled more drug traffic through the Tohono O’odham reservation. This created a need for more Border Patrol officers to be deployed to the crime-infested area. The article also revealed that tribe members are complicit in the trafficking business. “Hundreds of tribal members have been prosecuted in federal, state or tribal courts for smuggling drugs or humans, taking offers that reach $5,000 for storing marijuana or transporting it across the reservation,” the article states. “In a few families, both parents have been sent to prison, leaving grandparents to raise the children.” The drug smugglers work mainly for the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, the piece revealed.

  • TeaPartyPatriot

    .

    Vote in November.

    The TRUMP and NEWT vs The TRAMP and Pocahontas

    Use this, Pass it on and Pizz Off some. D’genrates

    .

  • Tiger

    My father Apache/Irish and this is deplorable and makes me angry that they are participating in such a thing.

  • Lorene B

    This is a national security situation which is a concern to all Americans. All efforts must be made to clean out this den of evil.

  • snowyriver

    It would be to simple for any to understand, but a land trade would be the perfect thing to do. 1 mile wide by 75 miles long, would be easy

    • 1947goldenjet

      Tribal property apparently transcends the border. For this to work as you intend, you would have to compensate them for that portion that is in Mexico also.

  • CharlieSeattle

    Deport the criminal indian tribe where they can do no harm. Take back the border area.

    Do your fukin job!

    • plum82

      DITTO…………..

    • judy

      Same here.

  • judy

    I am 1/2 Cherokee and I am ashamed of the tribe that is smuggling drugs, humans and who knows what else. They are the lowest form of life and should lose their citizenship and be sent to live in Mexico. Problem is, they are Americans and are a branch of the Indian Nations that should lose their citizenship. The ones that are breaking the laws are making it extremely hard for the lawful ones to make a living.

    • Pat Murphy

      I have relatives who are 100% Lakota Sioux and would never tolerate people who do such things as transport drugs in people. They are honorable tribe and work hard to help their elders make it to the cold winters. I’m sure that the tribal Council would put these people in jail the minute they found out about them. All Indians are not criminals or bad. It only takes a few to disgrace all of them.

    • plum82

      The SCUM ABOUND…….no way to exterminate them……

  • Fuck the indians. You give them a little bit of land, in this case a lot of land, and they want the whole country. If the cartels are operating on their land, they need to step aside and let the Border Control do its job.

    • Name

      This country was theirs before the white man stole it from them. So stick your head where the sun don’t shine. Most Indians do not put up with that kind of behavior. It brings shame on not just the person but tribe as well.

      • judy

        Way to go!

        • Name

          Thank you. I am 1/16 Indian myself.

  • Richard A.Duncan

    If any other American ethnic group had committed this crime, the would be indicted and prosocuted! Why aren’t they?

    • CharlieSeattle

      ☭Traitors have an agenda that transcends patriotism, the rule of law and national security.

    • 1947goldenjet

      Indian Reservations are held to be tantamount to sovereign countries.

      • Lorene B

        Then we have no obligation to provide aid and assistance to them.

        • 1947goldenjet

          Only those outlined by the various treaties which were routinely violated by the government anyway.

          • Elaine

            Interesting how they can put up a barricade to keep out law enforcement, but the current administration can’t seem to muster the desire to put up a wall at our southern border to keep illegals out.

          • 1947goldenjet

            Isn’t it though.

    • judy

      because we have an idiot for president and a bunch of lily-livered congressmen who won’t impeach him for treason.

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