Skip to comments.Gun running [Laredo, Texas]
Posted on 02/22/2009 10:03:14 AM PST by SwinneySwitch
Sheriff: Region needs crime lab, resources
Local law enforcement needs a regional crime lab and more resources, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar told U.S. Sen. John Cornyn during a closed-door briefing Saturday.
"We're kind of running behind in DNA and ballistics tests because we're on a waiting list and at the mercy of other crime labs in the area," Cuellar said.
"We have to go to San Antonio, where we have a six- to eight-month waiting period."
With a regional crime lab serving Webb, Zapata and Jim Hogg counties, the District Attorney's Office could prosecute cases in a more timely manner, he said.
The hour-long briefing included Laredo Police Department and federal law enforcement agencies.
It focused mainly on gun smuggling.
Cornyn didn't mention the crime lab when he spoke with reporters after the briefing, but he pledged to "do everything in (his) power" to help get necessary resources to the border.
"The drug cartels are unfortunately very well-armed frequently with weapons that come from the U.S.," said Cornyn, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Subcommittee.
The senator said federal prosecutors in Laredo have good ideas about changing laws to make it easier to prosecute "straw purchasers," who legally buy weapons at a gun show but turn around and sell them to drug cartels.
Cornyn said that while U.S. citizens have the right to own guns, the nation has to respect Mexico laws and prevent weapons from getting into the hands of the drug cartels.
"It's a fight that (the Mexican government) must win, and we must help them in every way possible that we can," he said.
"We have to continue and redouble our efforts at the state, local and federal level to try and do everything we can to help (Mexico President Felipe Calderón) fight this threat."
This means paying attention to southbound traffic, not just those going north, Cornyn said, as CBP field operations officers behind him inspected Mexico-bound traffic by using the mobile X-ray van, which scans a vehicle's contents.
"We have to do it in cooperation with Mexico," he said.
"It's a human resource issue and a money issue and being able to afford the equipment."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports that more than 7,700 guns sold in the United States were traced back to Mexico in 2008.
That's more than double the number the agency reported in 2007 and almost triple from 2006.
For their part, Mexican authorities report that 90 percent of smuggled weapons come from the United States.
Saturday afternoon's briefing at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge also gave agency heads in Laredo an opportunity to explain challenges and problems they are facing with their respective departments.
In addition to the Webb County Sheriff's Department and Laredo Police, the briefing included members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection field operations; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Border Patrol.
"He was very attentive and understood the urgency of helping us as much as he can," said Investigator Jose E. Baeza, police spokesman.
"(Cornyn) said he would do whatever he could to get us necessary funding for resources and other different things.
"It was a very productive meeting."
Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, City Manager Carlos Villarreal, District Attorney Isidro "Chilo" Alaniz and Mexican Consul Miguel Angel Isidro attended Saturday's briefing as well.
"When it comes to public safety, all of us here have to be at the front lines to protect the American people and protect all citizens on both sides of the border," Salinas said.
"That's our responsibility because we care. We care about our neighbors."
(Nick Georgiou may be reached at 728-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
NAFTA? Mexico has no fence?
Los dos Laredos ping!
If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.
Where else are they going to come from? Venezuela?
as CBP field operations officers behind him inspected Mexico-bound traffic by using the mobile X-ray van, which scans a vehicle’s contents.
Is anyone here naive enough to think they only use it down
on the border?
The government creates a problem via the drug war, then uses the problem to attack another American liberty, to own have, and dispose of guns as we see fit.
It should be just as easy for Mexico to stop gun traffic from the United States, as it has been for the United States to stop drug traffic from Mexico.
Going to hell in a handbasket.
I want to know where I can buy an RPG or grenades in the US. I have not seen anything like that at any of the sporting goods/gun stores I have been to here in Texas. I dunno, maybe they are just out of stock or I missed the “Missiles and Explosives” aisle....
If 90% of all these weapons in Mexico are coming from the US then they must be for sale here somewhere.
“I want to know where I can buy an RPG or grenades in the US. I have not seen anything like that at any of the sporting goods/gun stores I have been to here in Texas. I dunno, maybe they are just out of stock or I missed the Missiles and Explosives aisle....”
There is an article from last week on FR.....Mexico gets it’s grenades from South Korea.
I know. But the totalitarians in Washington DC are going to try to use this as an excuse to gut the second amendment and disarm US.
Cornyn better not turn out to be one of them!!!
Dna tests and ballistics tests??? in a war???
We are toast....
Where does it say I have to respect some other country's laws, inside my own country? Mexico doesn't respect its own laws, or ours.
Let BATFE earn its keep by going after "straw man" sales in South Texas. Oh wait, BATFE is not equipped for spontaneous firefights.
Audio slideshow: Mexico drug violence
Mexico is in the grip of vicious drug-related violence as traffickers battle each other and the authorities.
Nowhere has seen more bloodshed than Ciudad Juarez, a sprawling city on the US-Mexico border. The city’s police chief stepped down on Friday after gangs acted on their threat to kill one of his officers every two days until he quit.
US-based photojournalist Nadav Neuhaus visited Juarez in December to document life there.
GUIDANCE: This slideshow contains graphic images
Slideshow production: Emma Lynch. Publication date February 2009
If you want them you can find them.
You WILL have to take the risk of going to the underground marketplace to get them and that's a HIGH risk in and of itself.
And greatly slowing the transportation of drugs across the border is going to hurt the situation on the Mexican side of the US-Mexican Border is indicated how?
We need to slow MEXICO from coming over the border. Forget the drugs.
Of course, according to Latino’s, Mexico’s problems are all the fault of the USA, and I’m sure Obama agrees.
Mexico’s best friend, worst enemy
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