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Conservative Review

Arizona sheriff says his county pays for cartel traffickers’ hospital bills

Talk about paying for the rope to hang ourselves with.

“We have people coming through our desert on a daily basis,” lamented Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark Lamb on my podcast Monday. “We have [cartel] scouts that live in the mountains, watch their product, and protect it from law enforcement. They're up there for about two weeks to four weeks at a time. They have night vision firearms, binoculars, and radios. It's kind of technologically advanced, but rudimentary at the same time.”

Sheriff Lamb’s county is not even on the border. The southern end of the county is about 70 miles from the border between Mexico and Arizona, yet international terror cartels have operational control over the flow of people and drugs into his county, especially through the mountains dotting the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. And his rural county, which is few in people and light in revenue but large in territory to secure, is paying the price.

Lamb noted that his county is not only on the hook for the carnage left behind by the lack of border security, but it must also pay to treat the very people seeking to harm Americans when they get into a bind and call 911.

“I mean, just with our aviation unit, we actually had to respond to the smugglers’ call and say, hey, this guy's fallen out. If they're nice enough to call, and we show up, and this guy was left for dead, we had to find him. So now all the resources that we had at our disposal are now dedicated to finding a guy who's about to die. When we did find him laying underneath the tree, we had to give him the three bags of IV to bring him back. And while we were dealing with that guy, there were seven more 911 calls from smugglers who are either lost or hurt.”

The cowboy-looking sheriff minced no words about who is left with the tab paying for illegal immigration and cartel smuggling. “Let’s say I arrest a guy who had a backpack of marijuana, but then he's sick because of this 70-mile trek across the desert – if I have to take him to the hospital while he's in my custody, my county pays for that. If Americans just knew about the toll that it took financially on the taxpayer, they would lose their minds, they would be climbing from the rooftops for Congress to do something and declare the cartels terrorists. And it is such a burden on us.”

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