Border update 24-26APR09
0700-Departure- Listened to a Fox news report on XM radio about the recent use of ultra-lite aircraft to smuggle drugs across the border-
0915- Arrived in Jacumba
1005- My intent this mission was to enter the border area at Tecate, CA. On the way there I looked up from Hwy 94 south at the Cap Rock. There was a large group of BP vehicles there. Then suddenly a man dressed in green with a ghillied sniper rifle appeared from the trees by the side of the road! It was a BP BORTAC/SRT agent.
He was a fearsome sight. It would’ve made a great recruiting photo with the BP trucks on Cap Rock in the background had I been able to take the picture. I would later find out that a large drug bust had just taken place. This was close to the area where a local had recently been beaten up by drug smugglers demanding that he open a locked gate. The land owner called the Sheriff’s Dept. which has fewer men and therefore a much longer response time. Next time call the United States Border patrol!
1020- I entered the border road at Tecate just east of the POE and rigged up the truck, geared up myself and watered my K9
1040- Checked in with BP and informed the agent of my intent to do a slow roll to the east to Patriot Point.
1110- Just west of Red Army and Golf 1’s excellent layup I found two backpacks on the side of the road.
One was covered in gang style tagging.
The other had the lining cut out of it to revealed a secret contraband compartment much like the backpack Red Army found in the same area a week prior.
1120- Bell Valley.
Close to the area where Golf 1 and Red Army found this “Tecate Special” fake ID.
Careful, any misuse and it could be “revored”.
I begin to hear the first reports of swine flu in Mexico.
1145- Cap Rock
1200- Elements of the BPAUX are positioned at ZHP and are also on foot at the 241
Bravo 6 Actual calls. He is looking at my blog and the former marine says the new earthwork west of Cap Rock reminds him of a firebase in the making.
1230- Patriot Point. I visit with stalwart patriot and long time border observer Big Bob, the first man to give me a tour of the area when I did my first mission in the Campo area exactly three years ago. Below are some pics of that mission from April 2006.
1255- BPAUX reports several men walking north on the lower fork road in Mexico.
1300- I roll west on the border road. As I pass the end of the old fence by the 5 Star I see two men walking briskly across the field. As soon as I become visible to the they drop and lay flat in the grass.
I pulled up to the Donut Hole and there we binoed each other for over an hour. Meanwhile a man in a white cowboy hat came out of nowhere from the are east of the 241 and walked toward the little tank trap. He disappeared next to the fence just west of the little tank trap. Then I noticed a head popping up from the Bermuda triangle are and communicating with then men pinned down in the grass. No doubt he was part of a group that the two men in the grass were to guide. BP joins me at the Donut Hole and I apprise him of the varied activity to the south. The agent also confirms not one but two big drug busts in the Cap Rock are that morning and the night before.
1415- The two in the field get up and run back to the group hiding behind the hill to their east. Almost simultaneously I notice three men with backpacks running BTM from America through the Tank Trap to the east.
1440- I move to the upper Couch platform. There are two spotters on top of the hill south of the 5 Star. It is the same two men I had pinned down in the field. BP confirms it is a group of 15.
Let me take a moment here to say that without exception the BP Agents I encountered this weekend expressed their appreciation for the extra eyes and ears that regular citizens, acting professionally as civilian border observers, provide them.
1550-FN9 spots two more groups in the area. One numbering 15 and the other, 20. The group of 20 moves to the west of 241, the second group of 15 is by the little tank trap where the fellow in the cowboy hat disappeared. The original group of 15 remains in the Bermuda Triangle.
1645- 36 joins me at ZHP. 36 is anxious to see if he has cell phone coverage at ZHP. He does but it is spotty. He passes me the US Evolutions Thermal Eye to use that weekend. I cannot thank US Evolutions enough for the use of this device and for their continued advice and support.
Weasel and Shorty check in via radio. There are two spotters on the 241.
1750 I pull into the bushes and put on multiple layers of long johns in preparation for night ops.
1915- Weasel goes solo to the top of 241 and moves the two spotters off the peak. I spot two men crossing south below me. I leave 36 at ZHP and head down the hill. The two men turn out to be BPAUX agents setting up in the area where the big rock juts through the fence.
2000- Weasel radios from the 241 that the spotters are throwing rocks at him. I was under the impression that BPAUX was going to join him on top but that didn’t happen. I radioed Weasel several times and got no response which worried me. Hot Shot and I hurried up the hill with BPAUX members at the base watching my truck. This time I remembered to shut my door…..
On top of 241 I found Weasel to be alright. His radio had gone dead and he apparently didn’t realize it. He switched to back up and radioed those below that he was ok. Shortly thereafter two BPAUX members did join us. The four of us, five counting Hot Shot, patrolled the hill on both sides and drove the spotters further south and eventually off the hill. Let me dispel the myth that at this time Hot Shot went missing and we went looking for him. This was a ruse put out over the radio when someone below noticed our lights venturing into enemy territory. We were sweeping the hill without regard to international boundaries and my trusty K9 partner never left my side.
2130- I descend the 241 with only one good battery left in the Thermal Eye.
2230- I leave the border area, knowing that in addition to the groups out there already mentioned there is now a group of 10 across from the point. I’m exhausted and there are plenty of BP agents and dedicated civilian observers in the area. I would find out the next day that the group across from the Point were transporting dope and the BP caught them in the wee hours of the morning trying to cross. Good Job!
0620- Leave Camp V
0655- Enter Border area at Forest Gate. Roll west.
0750- Cap Rock
0800-West Of tunnel, looking backwards I see three men walking west on the Pemex from behind Cap Rock
0810- Bell Valley. Drizzle I watch BP in the hill to the east tracking on foot.
I check in with BP and turn around to roll back to the east.
0950- Bell Valley. I spend about a half an hour visiting with a BP supervisor who again commends us for helping out the agents in the field
1100-Cap Rock facing east I spot 5 men on the 241. They are descending toward the western end of the old fence. It looked as if they were going to try to come where thew fence ends but about that time two BPAUX agents come around the bend inadvertently scaring them off. I tucked the truck up next to the fence and Hot Shot and I got out and caught them as they approached the big rock separating the old fence.
They saw me and were pissed!
They diverted a bit south and as I took videos of them the BP helicopter arrived on the scene. They began to throw some rocks as they moved west. I followed them down to the next hole in the fence where they got close then retreated with Omaha still in the air and me right next to the border.
They continued, frustrated to the west and Omaha left the area.
The two BPAUX agents stayed by the first hole and Fidelis observed from ZHP. I moved down to the last gap in the fence and met the would-be intruders when they approached.
It was there that one of their rocks hit the hood of my truck.
It shattered at the fragments pelted my windshield. I was very tempted to unload a few rounds of rubber buckshot in their direction, but restrained myself. Then they climbed up on a rock and made obscene, Elvis-like pelvic thrusts in my direction. Hilarious!
Frustrated they TBSed in to the trees south of the Pemex, just east of the new plowed roads.
1200- I drove up to ZHP and visited with Fidelis, then moved on to the east.
1230- I visited with Horsepuckies at the base of the 241 and told him of the morning’s events.
1250- Shorty drops off Miramar and Weasel at the base of the 241 and they make the ascent. I back into a hidden spot by the 129 to observe the area between the Donut Hole and the 24.
1330- I leave the 129 area and roll east to the 141 where Hot Shot and I take a little cat nap.
1345-on the way to the east I meet up with an old friend, a young female BP agent who has been on the Canadian border for a year or so. It was great to see her!
1430- Made a call to check in with Bravo 2. After I hang up I get a call from Lil Dog himself and we shoot the shit for a while.
1540- I leave the 141 and head west.
1620-I pick up Miramar and Weasel at the base of the 241 and transport them to the Upper Couch platform. Mexicans on FRS channel 8 are relaying my every move.
1645- I pull back into the 129 road and put my long johns back on in preparation for the evening’s ops.
1700- 8 POIs cross the field to the Bermuda triangle.
1736- Tecate PD heads north on the Ranchita Rd, turns to the east across the field and searches the hilltop on foot where the eight appear to have gone.
There are now at least four spotters on the 241.
1750- Weasel and Miramar lay down in the back of the Uno Mobile and are covered by a tarp so the spotters can’t see me transport them.
I take them to the backside of the 241 and they make the ascent in hopes of clearing the hilltop. I travel west on the border road and part of the way up the cap Rock to bino the west side of 241. I get whispered radio communications form Miramar who informs me that, in addition to the four men I see on the Mexican side of the 241 there are two men, dressed in black, on the American side hidden behind a rock in very close proximity to Weasel and Miramar. Weasel and Miramar are pinned down in the grass with very little cover, not wanting to give away their position just yet.
1820- Weasel and Miramar, weary of whispering in the grass, call on me to make a diversion. I fly at full speed east up the border road and come to rest at the end of the old fence. I begin honking my horn and playing Freddy Fender’s "I love my Rancho Grande" through the loud speaker on my truck. The four visible men scatter and head south down the 241. The two men in black don’t budge.
Weasel and Miramar adapt, improvise and overcome. They jump up from their semi concealed position and run hollering toward the two men who flee to the southwest. Hot Shot, Ms. Mossberg and I storm the backside of the 241 in support, with elements of BPAUX pulling up next to my vehicle to guard my truck.
When we reach the top Weasel and Miramar have the situation handled, much to the dismay of the Mexicans, some of whom have gathered part of the way down the east side to hurl insults at us. Their obnoxious obloquies are returned in kind.
2100- Hot Shot and I descend the 241 and make a slow truck patrol to the east to the 141 and back.
2245- Miramar and Weasel make their descent and I pull to the back of 241 and extract them.
0030- I head for Camp V
0130- Lights out
0730- I leave the area, but take a diversion on the way home. The watering holes are up on the eight in anticipation of dehydrated illegal summer crossers.
There are at least 4 of these visible as you head east down the grade on the 8.
0900- I divert at Ocotillo to the 98.
The highway is punctuated with dozens of these illegal watering holes.
I quit counting them at 40!
I felt it somehow strangely appropriate to turn south toward the border on Weed Road.
I found the border there well patrolled. There is a fence, a canal and a berm.
There are lights and cameras. I spoke with a BP agent there to ask if there were any areas their sector could use extra eyes and ears. He said yes, in the mountains and badlands west of there, where I had just come through and seen all the watering holes.
This is an extremely harsh environment, which bears further investigation for possible operations.
I got to the vicinity of the C1 compound around 1300 only to find my neighborhood road blocked by local LEA. They would not disclose the reason but seemed to have the situation well in hand. I had to perform one last off road maneuver to make it to home.
For over three years now I have been observing and reporting illegal activity on our southern border, all the while steadily going broke doing it. Imagine my surprise and gratitude when I checked the mail and had a $40.00 gas card donated by a reader of this blog from Arizona known only as Bravo Zulu!
It will definitely come in handy on my next trip to the border. Thank you Bravo Zulu!!!
I have saved all the receipts for the last three years or so but rarely look at them. I guess that is a form of denial. But I will continue my commitment to my country which I began three years ago in April. (my first mission was in August 2005 but I did not begin my once a month commitment until April 2006) I will continue until I am either physically incapable, financially incapable, or until the problem is solved. Or until, God forbid, our illustrious “Homeland Security” secretary makes me a political prisoner.
Until then I will not solicit donations, BUT I will not turn them down either. If you want to contribute I would be honored to accept whatever you offer. Gas cards and Walmart cards are great. In the top right hand corner of this blog you can click on “e-mail” to get a hold of me or write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will instruct you how and where to contribute.
But the best contribution you can make would be to join me, or other like-minded individuals or organizations in your area, to be extra eyes and ears for the men and women of the United States Border Patrol.
God Bless Y’all and God Bless the United States of America.