Tombstone  Tumbleweed
A high - speed car chase ended with Bisbee police, Border Patrol agents and a detail of the United States Marines coming under automatic weapons fire near the U.S./Mexico border two miles west of Naco, Arizona on Tuesday morning, February 16, 2004. Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Susan Herskovits confirmed on Wednesday that the agency is involved in the investigation, “because it involves an assault on federal law enforcement agents and involves gun fire from across the international boundary with Mexico,” she told The Tumbleweed. No officers were reported to be injured in the “rolling gun battle” that ended with a white Ford F150 pick up truck getting stuck in the heavy underbrush as it attempted to make a return dash across the border near the end of the border wall, west of Naco, Az. port of entry. Herskovits explained that FBI agents responded to the scene after Bisbee Police and Customs agents reported coming under gunfire during the chase with the truck. “Non-federal law enforcement agents were involved in following a vehicle suspected of transporting drugs. The officers were involved in a chase that ended two miles west of the Naco, Arizona point of entry. The pursuit ended on border road as the chase came to a halt near a Marine Corp detail making repairs to the border wall and fence extending west from Naco,” Herskovits stated in a phone interview.
“This investigation is far from over.  We know there was a single male individual in the white truck, and two more men in the second vehicle. This is pretty serious. Marijuana was recovered from the white truck and we know that at least 20 to 30 rounds were fired at the officers and the Marines. The military said they took cover as they were fired upon from multiple directions, from both sides of the border fence. It’s amazing there were no injuries,” Herskovits reported.
Detective Hoskins, of the Bisbee Police Department, added, “At first there was a pursuit that began at 8:32 a.m. when an Arizona Department of Public Safety police officer tried to pull over a Ford pickup truck near the Lavender Pit on Highway 80. The truck rammed the police vehicle, which resulted in the officer shooting at the suspect. This quickly became a multiple agency pursuit involving not only the white Ford truck but also Bisbee Police Chief James Elkins and border patrol. Hoskins stated they knew the vehicles and their habits, “These were guys we have been watching,” Hoskins, said. During the pursuit Chief Elkins also noticed the second vehicle, a blue and silver Tahoe, as he tailed what he thought to be a suspicious vehicle on highway 92 west of Bisbee. “As the chief approached the vehicles they took off at a high rate of speed. Both vehicles began to take evasive maneuvers in an attempt to shake law enforcement. We ended up in a chase that led through the county building complex on Melody Lane. At that point customs and border patrol had entered the pursuit that headed west to Wilson Road, where the vehicles left the paved road and headed cross - country towards the end of the wall west of Naco,” Hoskins reported to The Tumbleweed on Wednesday.
“At that point the man in the white Ford attempted to ram Chief Elkins’ car and the chase led right to where a group of marines were making repairs on the end of the wall, and here’s where it got crazy,” Hoskins said. “The truck bottoms out and the first male subject gets out, reaches behind the drivers’ seat and grabs a metal box and runs to a hole in the fence and disappears on the other side. Shots are being fired from both sides and the officers and the Marines take cover. Suddenly the blue Tahoe appears with two men – one of them drives the other is laying down suppression fire towards the officers. They drive up to the white Ford, the subject with the weapon jumps out and looks behind the seat. I suppose he was looking for the metal box, the first man had taken from behind the seat. The driver then fires suppression fire to cover for the subject at the first vehicle. They return to the blue Tahoe and proceed to drive through an opening in the fence that was predetermined. They knew where they were and where they were going.  Scouts carrying weapons were seen on hills on the other side – the officers were fired upon from various locations from both sides of the border,” recalled Hoskins.
“They were using fully automatic weapons. We think they (the weapons) were Sks’,”said detective Hoskins. He added that the FBI had processed the vehicle however the Bisbee Police Department had the vehicle impounded - along with 622.2 pounds of marijuana found in the back of the white Ford truck. Hoskins verified that no action to suppress the aggressors was taken. “Our policy is to never return fire across the border as a department. I know that no one, not the Marines, or any of the officers on our side returned fire across the border.”
A confrontation between a Coronado Park Ranger and two guides involved in smuggling illegal aliens into the country erupted in an exchange of gunfire on Sunday, February 6, 2004. Agent Susan Herskovits, spokesperson for the Phoenix office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports to the Tumbleweed that their department is in charge of the investigation because it is considered an assault on a federal law enforcement officer.
Rangers responded to sensor hits near the Montezuma Pass area of the Coronado National Memorial, a unit of the National Park System that borders the Republic of Mexico. Park rangers were working an illegal immigrant patrol when they encountered two men, guiding at least 30 illegal aliens through the park just after 9 p.m. on February 6th. One of the men pointed a handgun and threatened to shoot the park ranger. The ranger immediately fired one round from his park-issued M-16 rifle at the smuggler.
Herskovits reported that no one is believed to be injured in the incident. Both smugglers immediately fled back into Mexico. Herskovits said all of about 30 undocumented aliens were apprehended at the scene; however, no weapon was recovered.
The FBI was immediately notified and took the investigative lead in the case. Two other NPS enforcement rangers were also at the scene of the incident. Chief ranger Thane Weigand coordinated an immediate search of the area, utilizing rangers, Border Patrol agents, and a Border Patrol helicopter. The search yielded no evidence that the suspect was still in the park, that he was struck by the ranger’s bullet, or that the suspect’s handgun had been left behind. Rangers processed the crime scene. NPS special agents have been assigned to the case.
According to accounts of the incident, the rangers commanded this person to halt in both English and Spanish. The subject pulled a handgun and an NPS officer fired one shot from a rifle at the subject.

IT SEEMS WE DID THE RIGHT THING.  AT THE RIGHT TIME!! Gunfire has erupted all along our border in the past week.
Very have few encounters to report in the past week- most of our sightings have been called in to Border Patrol - they have responded with a renewed level of professionalism.
As the weather warms up so will the trails used by illegal invaders.
We need your assistance. In the past two weeks, CHD has gained six new volunteers - all from the Hereford area. I guess folks are getting serious about the matter.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Border 006.wmf
Border 006.wmf