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Posted inBorder PatrolCriminal JusticeNational Security

Without federal funds, border counties struggle to prosecute minor drug cases

An enforcement scorecard greets motorists at the U.S. Border Patrol’s Falfurrias, Texas, checkpoint. Local authorities in Brooks County say they can no longer afford to prosecute checkpoint drug cases that the federal government declines to take.G.W. Schulz/The Center for Investigative Reporting The Border Patrol makes its presence known in Falfurrias, Texas. The Rio Grande Valley […]

Posted inBorder PatrolCriminal JusticeNational Security

Minor drug busts at border checkpoint breaking Texas county’s budget

Rusty Fleming, spokesman for the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office in Sierra Blanca, Texas, stands in an evidence room where bundles of marijuana seized at the nearby U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint fill the entire building with the smell of pot.G.W. Schulz/The Center for Investigative Reporting SIERRA BLANCA, Texas – As they walk through the front door, […]

Posted inImmigrationNational Security

Despite ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, many who cross border are repeat offenders

Produced by La Toya Tooles and Kerri Connolly NOGALES, Mexico – Men and women recently deported from the United States often sleep here at night among the dead in a pebble-strewn graveyard, a hillside resting place, where winding, dusty trails bisect stone markers decorated with candles, flowers and personal mementos. But Franklin Alexander Ordonez Ordonez, […]

Posted inMoney and PoliticsNational Security

Government secrecy orders on patents keep lid on inventions

This photo illustration is based on James Greer’s patent application for technology that could detect objects, including stealth aircraft. He lived under a secrecy order for eight years.Jaena Rae Cabrera/Center for Investigative Reporting More than 10 years ago, Robert Gold sought to do what many Americans have dreamed of their whole lives: patent an idea. […]

Posted inBorder PatrolCriminal JusticeImmigrationNational Security

Four of five Border Patrol drug busts involve US citizens, records show

Mugshots of people arrested in remote Hudspeth County, Texas, where the Big Bend Sector’s Sierra Blanca checkpoint sits. County Sheriff Arvin West said the Border Patrol has enhanced security by increasing agents and drug-detecting dogs at checkpoints to catch more contraband.Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office The public’s view of a typical Mexican drug smuggler might not […]