Border Town Residents Fear Cartel Retaliation
Seven residents who live 30 to 50 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border told the Washington Examiner that picking up the phone to call for help if they have been burglarized or found someone sleeping in their barn can lead to nasty consequences.
Billy Darnell, a cattle rancher in Hidalgo County who has lived in the region more than 70 years, said he calls in every incident but has paid the price for informing Border Patrol and the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department.
“I turned in 700 pounds [of marijuana] up here ... I called it in [to Border Patrol]. They went and got it. That night, they [smugglers] came back. They ... broke off all the floats off my troughs — chopped 'em up, drained all of it," Darnell said, adding groups of 12 men carry heavy packs filled with marijuana through the region.
Cammi Moore, a cattle rancher and farmer who lives about 50 miles north of the border in Animas, also worries about whether to report illegal activity.
Locals refer to the mysterious case of Bob Krentz, a prominent rancher, whose murder at the hands of a suspected illegal immigrant in 2010, galvanized support for enhanced border security.
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