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Park Works With Border Patrol To Resolve Smuggling Issues

Coronado National Memorial

National Park News

Over the past ten days, more than eight vehicle drug loads have made it around the new vehicle barrier installed on the border with Mexico and onto park roads. Once in the park, the smugglers were able to mix into traffic and avoid being apprehended. These vehicles typically carry from $1 million to $1.5 million in drugs and are therefore more closely guarded. The smugglers are also instructed to employ violence if necessary to prevent the loss of their loads. Meanwhile, crossings on foot by illegal aliens are also returning to levels seen before the barrier was erected. It’s believed that several circumstances have combined to cause the return of high levels of criminal activity in the park, including changes in criminal organizations, restoration of infrastructure damaged by floods in both the U.S. and Mexico, and the staffing levels of area law enforcement agencies. Within four days of discussing short-term solutions with the Border Patrol, a solution was in place – park staff, Border Patrol agents and National Guard soldiers closed a gap in the vehicle barrier by extending its coverage an additional 50 feet. Park staff will be working with the regional office to conduct an environmental impact assessment for a more permanent solution involving further extension of the barrier.


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