Campo Border Watch Update: Memorial Day weekend 2007
On Saturday morning 26May07 I loaded up my truck and headed for Campo. I arrived in “The Oaks” about 1200. CzechStan, Gadget and Ridgerunner greeted me. Viking was on patrol and a new man, “Lizard” was in position at the peak east of just Smith Canyon. Magnum was also on patrol. Kingfish was in his new position on the west side of Smith Canyon. I pitched my tent and mounted my electronic gear. With my infrared spotlight, roof mounted, remote operated, rotating “Go-Light and motion sensors attached I set off on patrol.
After making several passes on the border and service roads. I relieved Lizard and took up position at the peak on the east side of Smith Canyon (Kingfish’s old spot) I parked my truck where Kingfish used to park, and then set off on foot to the peak. I sat up there for a couple of hours. It was quiet and peaceful and I was enjoying the beauty and solitude, right up until someone in Mexico started shooting at me! It was 7 shots from what sounded like a .22. I tell you I have heard a lot of shooting, but bullets sound real different when they are coming at you!! I kept a whole lot lower for the next hour or so and did not return fire. Then I headed back to the border roads on the west side of La Gloria for the night.
As is my habit at night in Campo I alternated between patrolling the roads with my Go-Light between 133 and 141, and sitting on the mesa at 139. I encountered a BP agent on the border road while I was mobile at about 0330 27May07. I told him it seemed pretty quiet on that side and he informed me that they had just caught 9 illegals on the east side of La Gloria just west of 143. I told him to keep up the good work and he told me the same.
About sun up Sunday morning I ventured over to 143 where I came upon the same BP agent. He informed me that he had just startled 4 illegals and they went BTM. He asked me if I was planning to stay in that area and, when I replied in the affirmative, he told me to be careful. About ten minutes later he came back and asked me if I would guard his truck while he set off on foot to look for tracks and perhaps if anymore than the 4 had come through or if any were hiding from the night before. It was an honor to watch the man’s vehicle. He returned in about thirty minutes and then gave me a brief tracking lesson. He showed me the tracks where the 9 had come through the night before. They had not used booties, they were barefoot!
The 4 illegals that he had scared BTM left me a souvenir: A black shoulder bag with cans of Mexican tuna fish and fresh, dated individually wrapped slices of cheese. I ate the cheese with crackers for breakfast. Muchos Gracias Amigos!
After alternating between naps in the shade of La Gloria and the Oaks 27May07, about 1430 I went back to the peak where I had been shot at the day before. This time I did not park in plain view but rather hid my truck behind the peak, donned my gear and scampered up the backside. My intent was to fortify the position with rocks to make me less of a target. Before I got to the top however, I heard Spanish speaking voices to my east. I observed 3 men on the north side walking parallel to the border fence and down into the west bank of Smith Canyon. I could also make out part of a vehicle on the Mexican side and heard voices from there too. I called the BP and in a matter of minutes the helicopter was on the scene. I watched as it came in my direction and then turned away. I called BP again and told then the chopper had left too soon. I stayed on the line and directed him to come to the area south of the power lines and north of the fence. He hovered there for a while and the vehicles, now there were more than one, in Mexico, left and I lost sight of any illegals on our side. I kept low and, Mossberg 590 in hand and Glock 19 at the ready, I snuck around to view BP trucks in 3 different positions on the east side of Smith Canyon set up to view my side. I also startled a Mexican sitting under a tree where the border fence ends on the west side of Smith. I stared at him with my shotgun in hand and he appeared to stare back across the frontier. We “mad-dogged” each other for what seemed like a couple of minutes and then it was if he finally realized what he was looking at and comically dove behind the tree! It was hilarious. I wish I could’ve gotten it on video.
Later I was told that the incident on the west side of Smith, which I had called in, was a drug smuggling operation gone bad. I heard that there were two vehicles loaded with dope stuck on the side of Smith and the men I had seen were off loading it by hand. I cannot verify this and am glad I did not get close enough to see it for myself. No doubt it would’ve gotten ugly. Kingfish speculated that the reason they were shooting at me up there the day before was to scare us out of the area of their impending operation.
Around 1600 I went back to the Oaks for a nap. I awoke about 1800 and met two new guys who said they had seen the Campo Minutemen website and wanted to check out the area. I gave them a tour of the border and showed them the spots that had recently been active. Their call signs were “Upstate” and “Northstar” and they claimed to be Iraqi veterans. They opted to stay at 143 and I took up position across from them at 141 for a while before setting off on my nightly patrol. The next thing I heard on the radio is that Upstate is on foot with night vision goggles in La Gloria Canyon and has 3 illegals spotted! I drove down to 141 where Northstar was monitoring his partner. Thinking these guys were new, I told them once Upstate had a visual on the three Northstar should phone the BP, which he did. The BP IR camera truck was there almost before he hung up! Then I watched the BP IR truck go past La Gloria on to the other side. I called BP and told them their man had driven past the position. The agent on the phone acted surprised that there was already and agent on the scene. Then the agent in the truck started talking on an FRS radio directly to us and to Upstate! I knew BP monitored us from time to time but had never heard them communicate directly. This has me wondering if the gung ho new guys weren’t in fact undercover BP agents. The agent in the truck verified that three had entered and were heading north but, to my knowledge, none were caught. Then the IR truck set up next to me at 141 and I was treated to an infrared video display of the whole La Gloria canyon area. Man, I want one of those for my truck.
I patrolled a while and then took up position at 138 until about 0130 when I was just too exhausted to be useful and safe. I went back to my tent in the Oaks for the night. I left Campo about 0900 on Memorial Day.
God Bless all the brave men and women who have fought and died for this great country and God Bless The United States of America.
I plan on returning to the border on or about the 14th of June (Flag Day) for 3 or 4 days. Hope to see you there!
This concludes my report.