|November 6th, 2008,
Last Saturday the U.S. Border Patrol arrested two Mexican nationals and seized 880 pounds of marijuana. According the U.S. Border Patrol, the smugglers had entered the U.S. through American Border Patrol's ranch 15 miles west of Naco and adjacent to the San Pedro River. On Tuesday DHS moved a construction crew onto the ranch and so far has and more than 400 feet of new fencing where the smugglers crossed into the U.S.
According to Glenn Spencer, head of ABP, Saturday's bust was only one of many drug drive-throughs across the ranch in recent weeks. In June ABP's Mike Christie was nearly killed by a smuggler.
On Monday Spencer found that the lock on one gate had been cut and the gatepost removed. "We parked a car to block the road, only to find the next day that they had pushed the car aside." Spencer said. "On Tuesday we parked a bus on the road, and so far they haven't been able to move it."
Spencer said there is still a big gap in the border fence, but it should be filled by Thanksgiving. There are no plans to construct a fence across the San Pedro River however, leaving the east side of ABP's ranch vulnerable.
ABP has a camera system that looks down on the river but it is only effective during the day as the night vision thermal camera is awaiting repairs. The night camera, an AXSYS Field Pro 5X (original cost $65,000), has been used for the past two years to spot and report hundreds of illegal aliens. Unfortunately its liquid helium cooler sensor has failed (after 6,000 hours of use) and must be replaced. The cost of repair is very high ($32,980) and is beyond ABP's present budget to handle.
Anyone interested in helping ABP restore its thermal camera system can log on here to make a tax-deductible donation.
By the way, Spencer earns no salary from ABP. ABP's books are audited by a private CPA firm and it is in good standing in all states.