Mexico Drug Gang Threatens Arizona Police

Reuters, June 23, 2010

Police in an Arizona border city are on heightened alert after receiving a warning from a Mexican drug cartel that officers may be targeted if they carry out off-duty drug busts, authorities said on Tuesday.

Nogales Police Chief Jeff Kirkham said the department received the threat through an informant after two off-duty policemen seized 400 pounds (182 kg) of marijuana while horseback riding outside the city in early June.

“The warning was . . . that the officers, if they are off duty, are to look the other way and ignore any drug trafficking loads that are coming across the border, otherwise they will be targeted,” Kirkham told Reuters.

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Kirkham said he took the threats against Nogales police “very seriously.” He said he had asked the Border Patrol for additional support, and had ordered officers to carry communications equipment and guns at all times.

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