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Purveyors of Human Pain: CBN News Joins With Border Sheriff to Show You the Threat to America

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SOUTHERN ARIZONA - In the scorching desert of Arizona, one local sheriff is waging war against cartels, human smugglers, and the drugs all crossing the border. CBN News visited the area with him to witness the crisis firsthand. 

It might be 70 miles north of the Mexico-Arizona border, but Pinal County feels like the front lines of the fentanyl crisis. For years, cartels have used this route to smuggle illicit cargo north across the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation. Since 2017, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb has worked to stop it.

Sheriff Lamb told us, "The reservation starts and then that reservation goes all the way into Mexico. It crosses over the border. So on both sides, you have Mexico and the United States. But the reservation is on both sides. And so they'll push through the reservation. And a lot of times members of that reservation will drive them up to the county line and drop them off."

"And then what they do is they hike up to the I-8 or just on the other side to a place like where I'm going to show you now and then they'll load out their vehicle and take off."

"And these are what you would call the 'Gotaways' or the people that get into the country undetected," he said.

slider img 2CBN News rode along with Sheriff Lamb to see the scale of the problem.

"So mind you, I could probably show you 100 of these spots," he explained.

"And you see all the residue from the people here, the water jugs, the clothes, the blankets, the camouflage," he said. "That orange twine is the remnants of marijuana. They use the burlap straps to put them to make a backpack. And then they'll use the twine to tie these two packs together."

This vast desert poses a major challenge for Lamb and his deputies to police it all.

"This is a unique area. We actually have rip crews that will come in these areas and the rip crews are other drug dealers, other criminals that will come and steal the product from these loads whether it's marijuana, the fentanyl, the pills. But lately what they've been stealing and which has more value is humans. So if they're trafficking a load of ten people that are trying to come to America, the rip crews can come and steal them and then go up and extort them for money, put them into the sex trade, make them work for them, do all that," he explained.

The result is measured in human suffering.

"These poor people, when we find them, they're darn near dead, just from exhaustion, from what the cartels put them through," Sheriff Lamb said.

CBN News traveled to the edge of the Indian reservation, the Tohono O'odham Reservation that goes all the way down across the U.S.-Mexican border. There were piles of clothing everywhere at a drop-off point we observed. But these are not migrants. These are not people who are coming across looking for asylum.

We know this because the pile includes shoes made of carpet which masks footprints and the sound of walking. We discovered camouflage hats and jackets out here too. These are uniforms with the same hats, obviously purchased at the same place. It's the same kind of camouflage. 

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There were several of these camouflage backpacks also out here. This is what you would expect from a military invasion when people are wearing uniforms that are standardized. These are obviously being funded by the cartels. And instead of carrying weapons, what they're carrying into America is poison.

Lamb said, "We're the frontline. And frankly, they're far more equipped if they decided to actually come over with guns and all their equipment. ...How much military weaponry can you buy with $13 billion a year? They are amassing armies, well, well-equipped armies in Mexico that are going to be very difficult to deal with."

Sheriff Lamb believes the problem is as much the fault of the U.S. government as it is of the cartels. That's why this sheriff has decided to run for U.S. Senate in 2024.

Lamb said, "This fight, the only way to get rid of these people is to vote them out or to impeach him. And so there is hope. The hope is that every two years we have elections. And this next election is a crucial election because if you don't like this stuff if you don't want these people flowing into America, we've got to get somebody back in there that believes in border security that's actually going to do it, and protect our communities and frankly, protect these people that are being taken advantage of by the cartels." 

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