By Michael Webster: Syndicated Investigative Reporter  July 8, 2010 at 12:30 PM PDT  

 Link to new article: UPDATE ON AZ SITUATION  Shooting War at the U.S. Mexican border.___

One of my informants whom I have called Juan in previous news reports, called me recently on the cell phone he provided me at our last meeting a month or so ago. He told me that his boss, a Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel officer, wanted to meet with me and give me some important information regarding the so called war on drugs raging on the border. A date and time was set up for this meeting at a public place.

At this encounter, the Mexican I met was clean shaven with a military style “high and tight” short hair cut, who looked to be about 35 years old or so, claiming to be an officer in the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel organization. He told me straight out that he believed two of his men were shot and killed recently in the desert in Arizona by American vigilantes and he would be taking revenge. He first said he thought that his men where killed by opposing drug cartel member gangs; saying he and his men had killed several gang members recently whom they thought were responsible for those killings and other recent attacks in the area. That bloody confrontation took place just south of the Arizona border. The shootout  left 21 dead.

The violence took place between the hamlets of Saric and Tubutama along a notorious smuggling corridor. Nearby is the town of Altar, which I have reported on in the past and which for more than a decade has been a major staging area for illegal smugglers headed for the Arizona border. 

The Los Zetas officer said “I now believe my men were shot by crazed American vigilante cowards, who ambushed my solders at night, shot them from a great distance using high powered American rifles. Then our load of drugs were stolen”.

He said, “this is a warning to those type groups that my men have been instructed to shoot and kill any Americans who are seen armed and roaming the deserts”.  He went on to say that the murder of his men has not been properly investigated by the sheriff of Pinal County.

The Los Zetas officer said “I believe there is a cover-up by sheriff  Paul Babeu by protecting the Americans who did the killings. If the true facts of this case are not revealed publicly and the guilty ones are not brought to justice then I will hold the sheriff personally responsible”.

The Los Zetas officer went on to tell me that “I have many of my Zetas soldiers posted throughout the area watching these groups and their movements and it will be just a matter of time before our side gets revenge.  In the mean time you must leave our people alone and the drugs they carry or my instructions will stand and this will mean war.”

Note: A pair of heavily armed vigilantes dressed in camouflage and carrying assault rifles captures a group of suspected undocumented migrants after they crossed into the U.S. through a border ranch in eastern San Diego, CA.

Vigilante type death squads roam the Mexican drug cartels drug corridors choke points, hunting for armed drug smugglers. These patrols are heavily armed with military style automatic and semi automatic weapons including 50 cal sniper rifles with night vision scopes and use technology such as night vision goggles, Vietnam era ground sensors and hidden trail cameras. Using these weapons and technology make them a real force to be reckoned with and very dangerous for those patrolling the Arizona desert and many other locations on the U.S. Mexican border from Texas to California.

There are several volunteer groups in the United States that claim to be watching our border with Mexico. Many of them are known as minuteman or patriot organizations. Some are just week end warriors and don’t pose much of a threat to Mexicans and do not try to arrest or otherwise play border patrol; they mainly just spot suspicious activity and call it into authorizes. 

But there are other groups that are known to authorities as true vigilantes who are serious and dangerous such as Jason “J.T.” Ready, who recently said publicly and through emails to be calling for his people to come to the Vekol Valley in Pinal County in camouflage clothing and to bring “plenty of firearms and ammo.”

He’s promoting it as “the Minuteman Project on steroids!” He writes at the end of one of his emails in all caps, “The invasion stops here.”

He writes this about the “situation:” 

“Armed narco-terrorists are bringing in loads of chemical warfare into our nation. These incursions should be treated no less serious than Al-Qaeda terrorists smuggling Sarin nerve agent into our population centers.”

Ready, called for volunteers to launch a special operations effort in a Pinal County valley. A county Sheriff Paul Babeu recently said is in control of the drug smugglers where his deputy was shot and where two un-identified Mexicans were found shot to death by unknown assailants within the last month.

According to Ready the action is under way and  his men are there to show force and solidarity of concerned patriots. NSM, Constitutional groups, Militias, Biker MC’s, National Guard, Military, multi-state participation groups, etcetera; [SIC] to stand the line near Interstate 8 to show the world that the line in the sand has been drawn. This is a completely legal venture and the utmost professionalism and self-restraint is recommended.

“We’re going to block off the narco-terrorists that come up through this area,” said Jason “J.T.” Ready, who is one of the organizers of the group. Ready says volunteers are coming from all over Arizona and even out of state to support the effort. 

“This is the Minuteman Project on steroids,” Ready explained. “We’ve got people with assault weapons. We will use lawful deadly force where appropriate.” 

According to some reports Ready has ties to extremist groups, including a neo-Nazi group known as the National Socialist Movement.  Ready has denied the group is neo-Nazi.

But Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says, “Though I appreciate their support and offer to take up arms and patrol, this would not be helpful and would only cause a strain on already strained resources;  their safety needs to be a priority. I do not ask or encouraged them to come here.”

Arizona authorities reportedly found two bodies near a common border crossing recently, not far from where a police deputy was shot last April (

 According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office they are working with ICE and the Mexican Consulate to identify the men and notify next of kin, as information from the caller and documents at the scene “strongly suggests both men are now believed Mexican Nationals. Earlier authorities believed the pair, were Americans. 

Some investigators want to believe this incident is likely the result of the ongoing violent battle between Mexican drug cartels and not an American vigilante shooting. Investigators have not been able to confirm if the two men are part of the drug trade or just what they were doing at the camp.

 Authorities believe that the Sinaloan drug cartel, is currently controlling the region from Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  How ever there are reports that the Los Zetas drug cartel has moved into the area and are now challenging the Sinaloan drug cartel. 

“A competing cartel or other people stole their product from them and also killed them,” Babeu said. 

An autopsy on the bodies found marks on one of the men’s shoulders consistent with carrying a large pack. Babeu says it could have been from carrying a drug load. Investigators are also looking into whether or not these men were involved in the shooting of deputy Purrol. That’s because they asked dispatchers to send someone to the spot where Purrol was shot.

“So they’re familiar with the area. It’s just not people watching it on TV. The desert looks similar in all kinds of remote areas in Arizona. He actually knew where the deputy was shot,” Babeu said. The sheriff admits the cartels are operating in his county and without the federal government’s help they can’t get control. 

Babeu points out that the cartels control parts of his county in terms of the remote areas in the drug corridors in the desert here in west Pinal County. Our government has even erected signs warning citizens to beware this is a known drug corridor,” Babeu said. 

A spokesperson told the media that when the 911 call came in deputies immediately started a search but found the two bodies shot to death after four hours of looking.  As a result of this violence Babeu asked President Barack Obama to send 3000 National Guard troops to the border to help stop it.

“We can’t patrol  only these remote areas; we have a hard enough time just responding to our emergencies.”

Deputies found an automatic rifle near one of the men who was killed. The pair has yet to be identified but Babeu believes one of the men has been caught illegally in the United States at least seven times.

During that 911 call, a wounded suspected smuggler revealed tantalizing familiarity with the shooting of a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy, the sheriff said. The caller now suspected of being a drug smuggler called 911 that evening after he and a partner were shot while walking up a smuggling trail in southwestern Pinal County. He and the partner died in a remote area before officers could find them. While trying to explain his location to a dispatcher, the suspected smuggler said in Spanish that he was “right here where they shot the sheriff.”… 

Here is a partial transcript of the June 6 911 call with a person identified as Omar that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department released Friday. 

First Phone Call: (1931)

Dispatcher: 9-1-1, what is your location? Hello? Do you have an emergency?

How can I help you?

Caller: Yes, somebody shot me, we were running.

Dispatcher: Where are you?

Caller: Right here at the 8, in this area.

Dispatcher: Where are you?

Caller: Right here where they shot the sheriff, on this side. By the store, there’s a little hill please send a (sheriff) because there are some people, they want to jump us, they want to rob us and somebody shot us.

Dispatcher: Did you say on highway 8?

Caller: Yes. On the 8, the little hill right on the trail.

Caller: It is where it happened the last time where they shot the sheriff.

Dispatcher: Did they shoot you?

Caller: Yes, me and my partner. Because they want to rob us.

Dispatcher: Right now?

Caller: Yes, right now, right now.

Dispatcher: Where are you injured?

Caller: Right here in my stomach. I am bleeding a lot, I cannot walk.

Dispatcher: Did you say there’s another person injured?

Caller: Yes, there is someone else but I can’t hear him anymore.

(Phone disconnected)

Caller phones in again …

Dispatcher: Where are you at right now?

Caller: Well, just let him (a deputy) know to go to the 150, I’ve already figured out where I am at, I was selling cantaloupe here before. I already know this location from before.

Caller: I’m telling you to send the (sheriff) and you’re going to find me.

(Line disconnects)

Caller: Are you going to come and get me? I can’t speak a lot anymore. I am bleeding a lot. Please! (moaning) (praying) … just let me die.

Dispatcher: Omar, which side do you see the lights? Omar? Hello? Hello? Omar? 

Babeu the high-profile Arizona sheriff who has been outspoken about his support for the state’s controversial new immigration law is receiving death threats, reported recently.

Some of the threats against Babeu were from the Mexican mafia and drug cartel members according to the report.  Outside law enforcement teams brought in to investigate the threats found them credible.

Babeu was very outspoken about the need to secure the state’s border with Mexico — a known entry point to the U.S. for drug smugglers and illegal immigrant traffickers — and supports law SB1070, which makes illegal immigration a state crime.

Despite the threats, Babeu declined a personal security detail because the county resources were already stretched. 

“I understand this threat, yet I will not run in fear or change my support for SB1070 and my demands for President Obama to secure our border with 3,000 armed soldiers in Arizona and start building the fence again,” he said 

“I’m always armed, and as every law enforcement member knows, we always have to be aware of our surroundings and possible threats.” Pinal County is nearly 5,400 square miles and much of the desert is known as a drug and human trafficking corridor.

The U .S. Border Fire report called Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to ask how the investigation of the two dead Mexican Nationals is coming along. I wanted to ask if they had been identified and were there any suspects in the homicides? Was the sheriff investigating the possibility that American vigilantes had shot and killed the two Mexican Nationals? This was several days ago with no reply to date.


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Michael Webster’s Syndicated Investigative Reports have been read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries. Many of Mr. Webster’s articles are printed in six working languages: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. With ten more languages planed in the near future.

Mr. Webster is America’s leading authority on Venture Capital/Equity Funding. He served as a trustee on some of the nation’s largest trade Union funds. A noted Author, Lecturer, Educator, Emergency Manager, Counter-Terrorist, War on Drugs and War on Terrorist Specialist, Business Consultant, Newspaper Publisher. Radio News caster. Labor Law generalist, Teamster Union Business Agent, General Organizer, Union Rank and File Member Grievances Representative, NLRB Union Representative, Union Contract Negotiator, Workers Compensation Appeals Board Hearing Representative. Mr. Webster represented management on that side of the table as the former Director of Federated of Nevada. Mr. Webster publishes on-line newspapers at  and  and does investigative reports for print, electronic and on-line News Agencies. All of Mr. Webster’s articles, books/CD’s can be read or downloaded free at: or MICHAEL WEBSTER’S OTHER WRITINGS Contact e-mail: