Skip to comments.Tents + Tortillas + Tecate = Trouble: Feds
Posted on 08/28/2009 5:01:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
A federal warning to beware of campers in national forests who eat tortillas, drink Tecate beer and play Spanish music because they could be armed marijuana growers is racial profiling, an advocate for Hispanic rights said Friday.
The warnings were issued Wednesday by the U.S. Forest Service, which is investigating how much marijuana is being illegally cultivated in Colorado's national forests following the recent discovery of more than 14,000 plants in Pike National Forest.
"That's discriminatory, and it puts Hispanic campers in danger," said Polly Baca, co-chairwoman of the Colorado Latino Forum.
A spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service had no immediate response to Baca's comments.
Forest Service officials said they believe illegal immigrants are being brought to Colorado by Latin American drug cartels for mass cultivation of marijuana. Michael Skinner, a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado, said warning signs of possible drug trafficking include "tortilla packaging, beer cans, Spam, Tuna, Tecate beer cans," and campers who play Spanish music. He said the warning includes people speaking Spanish.
The warning signs were included in a slide presentation put together for drug agents in Colorado and the public. Skinner said this may or may not represent criminal activity, but are indicators and he urged any campers who encounter long-term campers meeting the profile to "hike out quickly" and call police.
"Our goal is to not allow organization using foreign nationals or any other persons involved in illegal drug production to take over our national forests," the department warned.
Baca said there is no evidence that Hispanics are the only people involved in large-scale drug operations and said she was "appalled that anyone, especially someone from the federal government, would say something like that."
Marvink Correa, spokesman for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said federal officials are painting an unfair stereotype of Hispanics.
"When I go camping, I'll be sure to play nothing but Bruce Springsteen," he said.
The recent discovery was the second large seizure this summer in Colorado. Two people were arrested, but federal officials refused to provide details, saying the investigation is continuing.
In July, authorities spent more than 24 hours clearing another marijuana growing operation in Pike National Forest. They say the plants' street value was about $2.5 million, but no arrests were made.
add Tums and I’m in. :-}
Sounds like my place during deer season.
Freaking Racist Obama, I fit the bill and I object the description of my Obama Hating Tortilla Eating a** being profiled.
This is clearly an attack on Conservatives.
Note: Photos included.
Note: The following text is a quote:
August 28, 2009
14,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Pike National Forest Near Deckers
Jefferson County Seizure the Largest Outdoor Marijuana Seizure in Colorado
AUG 28 — Denver Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Denver Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Gill Quintana, SAC of the United States Forest Service, and Scott Storey, Jefferson County District Attorney, announced today the seizure of approximately 14,500 live marijuana plants and the arrests of two suspects that occurred on Friday, August 21, 2009, in the Pike National Forest, Jefferson County, Colorado. This seizure is believed to be the largest outdoor marijuana growing operation ever detected by law enforcement in Colorado.
The marijuana was being grown in the remote, rugged terrain of the Pike National Forest near Deckers, Colorado. As agents advanced on the grow site, an estimated seven to ten individuals were seen running from the area. Their sleeping bags and food items were recovered at the site. Information developed during the investigation determined that Mexican migrant workers had been recruited from outside the state of Colorado to harvest the marijuana plants, which were found to be between four to six feet tall.
The persons who were involved in this criminal activity had no regard for the damage caused to the forest and environment by the waste they left behind, said SAC Sweetin. The publics safety is also at risk for those who recreate on our public lands due to these trafficking groups operating there.
These drug trafficking organizations are operating, and are a significant problem, on our National lands nation wide. We are seeing this illegal activity from the west coast to the east coast. We are now beginning to see these organizations migrate to our National lands in Colorado and we believe it is because of the law enforcement pressure they are experiencing elsewhere. The impacts are numerous - resource damage to the lands due to clearing the areas to prepare the garden site, trash left behind, chemicals used to grow the crop can seep into the watershed, and the public safety issues associated with recreating public coming in contact with these organization while they operating on our National lands. I want to thank all the agencies involved in this eradication operation, we could not have done this without them, said SAC Quintana.
According to Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey, The nature of this operation and the quantities involved are consistent with a criminal enterprise, and not with the recreational use of marijuana. We are committed to the prosecution of those involved.
Once agents cut down the plants, Black Hawk helicopters provided by the Colorado National Guard Counter Drug Task Force were used to transport the plants to a landing site, where they were loaded onto vehicles for transport to a location where they were destroyed.
Two suspects associated with the marijuana grow location have been identified. One of the suspects was contacted Friday at his residence in Aurora, Colorado. The second suspect was contacted Sunday while walking on Highway 126 near Deckers, wearing camouflage clothing. Their identities are not being released at this time.
Agencies participating in this investigation include the DEA Front Range Task Force, which is comprised of personnel from DEA, Arapahoe County Sheriffs Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Denver Police Department and the Aurora Police Department. Also participating in the investigation were the US Forest Service, West Metro Drug Task Force, Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, Colorado National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, Washington County Sheriffs Department, Logan County Sheriffs Department, and the Morgan County Sheriffs Department.
This case was referred to the Jefferson County District Attorneys Office for the filing of charges.
"Information developed during the investigation determined that Mexican migrant workers had been recruited from outside the state of Colorado to harvest the marijuana plants, which were found to be between four to six feet tall."
Weird. I’d be more inclined to think they were illegal migrant workers in Michigan to harvest cherries, corn, blueberries, etc. I actually ran into a huge group of them in a state campground many years ago.
No wonder Clinton wanted the government to take over the National Forests and Parks.
Music can range from big band when the internet is up to whatever mexican station I can get on am radio.
But I'm as pasty white as they come.
Why do the Raza guys think that only hispanics drink Tecate, eat tortillas, and live in tents? They racist or something?
Ahem: I like Tecate (with salt and lime, yeah I fruit the beer), eat tortillas (papas con huevos) and have a tent in my garage. Should I expect a visitation soon?
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I just got back today from a trip through the Smokey Mountain National Park and the Cherokee National Forest.
A federal warning to beware of campers in national forests who eat tortillas, drink Tecate beer and play Spanish music because they could be armed marijuana growers is racial profiling...
I ALWAYS eat Spam tacos and drink Tecate beer while listening to the mexican clone version of my favorite Beach Boys CD Wild Honey when I’m camping out (in my tent, well of course). I guess it’s my Brooks Brothers camo cargo pants that keeps the US Forestry Service away from me.
Or, could it be my beer farts.
RE: Smokey Mountain National Park and the Cherokee National Forest...cool. Did you visit the village?
If you’re referring to Cades cove in SMNP, yes. If you’re referring to something else, no. We did spend the night in the town of Cherokee on the southern border of the park. Kinda cheesy touristy. Gatlinburg (which we drove through) is even worse.
I dunno about the Tecate (more inclined towards MGD when camping myself), but I definitely have camped in National Forests with tortillas and playing Mexican music. I guess that makes me a pot grower!
They forgot to tell people to look for the big wide-brimmed hats. And that they might be dancing around the hats.
Corn or Flour tortillas?