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- 03-22-2012, 04:24 PM #1
Helicopters To Provide Border Patrol Advantage Over Drug Cartel Operations, Illegal
Helicopters To Provide Border Patrol Advantage Over Drug Cartel Operations, Illegal Activity
Na'Tassia Finley News Center 23 Reporter
Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 15:04
CAMERON COUNTY — State officials say we have a tool that the drug cartels can't afford to get their hands on. So will this help to keep us ahead of the illegal activity crossing over into our state?
Collaborative efforts by local, state and federal agencies means better protection for the people.
"These drug cartels have unlimited sources of money and they can not only out man us, but they can outshoot us many times, but they haven't gotten to the point as of yet where they're able to buy this type of aerial aircraft,” says Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.
High ranking officials from across the Rio Grande Valley have been briefed on the newest effort to monitor illegal activity here on the border. The topic, the transition from boots on the ground to eyes in the sky.
The Texas National Guard is now working in collaboration with border patrol. They'll be flying high and looking low to catch illegal activity on the ground. Once they spot it, they'll alert border patrol who will take over. The helicopters are multi-million dollar aircrafts.
"Very sophisticated state of the art, it can detect people from miles away and it can hover at a high altitude where someone on the ground cannot hear the helicopter," says Judge Cascos.
State officials at the meeting acknowledged that there is definitely an issue, something the federal government has overlooked at times.
"They were talking about literally 59-thousand people that were arrested last year in terms of crossing illegally, they were addressing human smuggling, they were talking about drugs, almost everything we're seeing along the border," says Judge Cascos.
And our section of the border is definitely a hot spot...
The Rio Grande Valley is the second leading hot spot for illegal crossing in the country, Tucson is number one. One of the reasons we're the number two location has to do with our unique terrain here in the RGV.
Cascos says the thick, brushy terrain that surrounds the river makes it easier for those to hide out. Other illegal crossing hot spots, like in Arizona and in California, for the most part, are flat and in the open, so eyes in the sky here is a big plus, aerial surveillance can assist in spotting those who are up to no good ... much more accurately.
"At the end of the day everybody serves the same people whether you're local, state or federal. everybody has different sources of info, everyone has different communications capacities, everybody has different funding sources," says Judge Cascos.
The judge says if protecting the people is the goal, it only makes sense to collaborate efforts if everyone is working on the same mission anyway.
Helicopters To Provide Border Patrol Advantage Over Drug Cartel Operations, Illegal Activity | KVEO News Center 23NO AMNESTY
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