Outmanned and outgunned, local law enforcement officers are alarmed by the drug and human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping and money laundering that Mexican drug cartels are conducting in the U.S. far from the border.
U.S. sheriffs say that securing the border is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies throughout the country, not just those near the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
“If we fail to secure our borders, then every sheriff in America will become a border sheriff,” said Sam Page, sheriff of Rockingham County, N.C. “We’re only a two-day drive from the border and have already seen the death and violence that illegal crossings brings into our community.”
Sheriff Page, whose county has about 94,000 residents, noted that a Mexican cartel set up one of its drug warehouses about a mile from his home.
“These men are coming into our county with more firepower than I have,” he said Wednesday. “I’m literally outgunned.”
The sheriff in North Carolina was one of several from across the country attending Hold Their Feet to the Fire, an annual two-day radio confab in Washington organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Rusty Fleming, a spokesman for the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, is on the front lines of the border battle and said the U.S. side is losing.
“These cartels are so sophisticated. They’re getting affluent white teenagers to help them encrypt their software; they do digital money-laundering, can hack into government databases and actively recruit our agents to keep one step ahead. The rest of America is just now getting a taste of what we’ve been dealing with for years,” Mr. Fleming said.