Arizona Cops Threatened by Mexican Drug Cartel

A Mexican drug cartel has threatened police officers in Arizona who confiscated a marijuana shipment, prompting the small town department to warn its officers to remain armed and have radios with them at all times, and keep their body armor handy.

Police and experts believe the warning against the Nogales, Ariz., cops marks the first time that powerful Mexican drug cartels, used to bribing and bullying police south of the border, have targeted U.S. officers.

Jeffrey Kirkham, chief of the Nogales police department, told that informants had delivered the threats after two off-duty police officers seized 400 pounds of marijuana while horseback riding outside the city earlier this month. The pot was worth about $250,000, he said.

Kirkham said informants have told his police department that off-duty officers should ignore cross-border drug shipments or face retaliation.

The threats appear credible because various informants were able to identify the officers who intercepted the drug load. Kirkham said the threats by Mexican traffickers were the first against local law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border.

“They’re getting upset that their product so to speak is not getting to where it needs to be,” Kirkham said of the cartels.

The chief said he gave a stern warning of his own to his 63 officers for what to do while they are off duty.

“We met with all the employees and supervisors to make them aware of what was said, and to make sure that they have their body armor and are armed and that their communications equipment is working properly,” Kirkham said. Kirkham attributed the surprising threat toMexico’s war on the cartels.

“The pressure is on them from the president in Mexico and that desperation is starting to spill over the border,” Kirkham told

Attacks by Mexican cartels on American law enforcement officers would be an alarming escalation of the Mexican drug wars. Cartel turf wars have killed more than 23,000 people across Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on drug gangs in late 2006.

In the neighboring Mexican city of Nogales, attacks on police officers have become commonplace. A deputy police chief in Nogales, Mexico, and his bodyguard were shot dead in March when gunmen in a pickup truck opened fire on them with assault rifles.

In November 2008, the police chief for Sonora state, which includes Nogales, was ambushed and killed just a few miles south of the Arizona border.

Sinaloa Cartel May Be Responsible for Threat to U.S. Cops

The Nogales police department has been hit hard by budget cuts recently, but Kirkham said the U.S. Border Patrol has sent additional agents to the area.

“I take these recent threats seriously,” said George Grayson, a professor at the College of William & Mary and an expert on Mexican politics. “These cartels have such firepower and have so many cadres that if you’re on the wrong side, you’re life is certainly in danger.”

Grayson said the threat likely came from the Sinaloa Cartel, which is headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is being sought by American and Mexican authorities. The U.S. State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

“The cartels are more likely to go after local police,” Grayson said. “You threaten an FBI agent and it does sound alarm bells across Washington. The same with Drug Enforcement Administration.”

Phil Jordan, former DEA intelligence chief along the U.S.-Mexico border, believes Guzman may have been behind the threats in order to divert law enforcement attention away from the heavily-travelled drug corridor between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. But he doesn’t think Mexican cartels will actually target American law enforcement.

“Let me tell you something about the cartels  whether they’re from Colombia or Mexico or Russia  they do not under any circumstances want to spend time in American jails,” Jordan told “The cartels are not going to take us on on American soil. They have cells all over the U.S. but they don’t want that type of attention.”

Jordan added, “Chapo Guzman is no dummy. If he can put out stuff like that so we can send reinforcements to the Nogales sector, he knows we’ll have to send people from the Texas border to help and you’ll see an increase in drug loads moving through Texas.”

The Los Zetas criminal organization, the Sinaloa Cartel’s chief rival, had previously operated in the Nogales area, but Grayson said Guzman has probably taken over control of operations there in recent months.

“El Chapo has really enjoyed a comeback in the last several months,” Grayson said. “These threats are just a general flexing of the muscles by the cartels. El Chapo has to be emboldened by the fact that Los Zetas find themselves on the defensive.” The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the United States. Its members are well-trained and well-armed, according to experts. About 90 percent of all the cocaine consumed in the United States passes across the Mexican border.

The booming drug trade has fueled powerful drug armies willing to take on Mexican police and even the army, and have no qualms about terrorizing civilians as well.

In the northern Mexican state of Sonora, across the border from Arizona, 126 drug-related homicides have been reported so far this year.

Mexican Drug Cartels Deadly Legacy

This week, with more than 40 deaths attributed to drug violence, including 12 federal police officers ambushed on Monday.

Last week, gunmen killed 16 people in Ciudad Madero, and 19 men were shot dead at a drug rehab center in Chihuahua.

Across the border from El Paso, Texas, in Ciudad Juarez, the body count has soared to nearly 1,200 this year. An estimated 2,700 were killed in 2009, a number that neared that year’s death count for civilians and U.S. and coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

“The cartels are feeling their oats now,” Grayson said.

– Article from ABC News.



  1. Anonymous on

    not everyone who smokes cannabis is a hippie. I say death to as many police also if it helps to legalize it. Whats worse, 5,000 dead cops or millions of people who don’t have to die from cancer anymore? Think of the millions who already died who didn’t have to, and not just cancer but other diseases (Like Rick Simpson was doing for FREE with phoenix tears).

  2. Anonymous on

    You’re confusing people who smoke ganja with hippies.

  3. Anonymous on

    The police are just another side on the drug war. Play the game, you get burned. I like to see the cartels threatening the police.

  4. Anonymous on

    Thank you for your service.I too am a combat vet from another era.I am also a Oathkeeper too.I have my MM card and am 100% SC/P&T.Yes,I too would lay down my life for weed.It is a far more noble cause then fighting communists on the other side of the world like I did in my war.This one is far worse….it’s at home on our doorstep.

  5. one12alpha on

    You are quite correct. But I know one thing is certain.

    I’ve gone to war FOR our great country, though I feel now that it was under false pretenses…”terrorism?” HA!

    And if it truly came down to it(marshal law). I’ll take up arms AGAINST to fight for this. After all, I feel “terrorized” by the thought that police can kick in my door, shoot my dog, steal my joint, and imprison me. Remember, they declared WAR on us, so bring it… I’d rather fight and lose, than watch and lose.

    Yes, I think marijuana is important enough to lay my life on the line over… for me, for you, for all of us.

  6. one12alpha on

    In case you weren’t paying attention. We, of Arizona, HAVE signed the petitions… TWICE. We voted medical marijuana to be legal back in 1996 with California… But to no avail, as the AZ legislatures some how over turned it. Maybe this IS karma, coming to haunt them for ignoring us. Medical marijuana is once again on the ballot in AZ…we’ll see how it turns out.

    And I do realize the difference between legal medical marijuana, and legal marijuana. But if our local govt will ignore the cries of the ill, what makes you think they’ll listen to the demands of the pot heads(criminals in their minds)?

    Some times, it takes violence to move forward. (Revolutionary war? Civil war? Um…ALCOHOL PROHIBITION?)

    Don’t get me wrong though, I really, really, wish the US govt would listen to the demands of nearly half the country. I wish we could end this without violence. But that’s the one folly in democracy, 51% can oppress the other 49%….and there in lies the source of the violence. (that 51% makes a market without regulation. Without regulation, disputes cannot be settled in court, but on the street…often with violence)

  7. Anonymous on

    It could also backfire and impose marshal law on both countries.That would be nothing short of disastrous for all concerned.

  8. Str8upstoner420 on

    First off it’s called illegal immigration for a reason because it’s ILLEGAL!

    Secondly, My family migrated to Arizona legally from Canada in the early 80’s and sacrificed alot to do so, at the time it was around $4000 dollars just to get the ball rolling. Then we had to wait about 18 months to get approved then before being granted passage to the US we had to prove that we were financialy stable which meant we needed to have $30,000 dollars in the bank before we could move here. I remember my dad being gone for months on end working in Fort McMurray to make sure that happened for us. The “American Dream” is not free.

    Thirdly, In Mexico Illegal immigration is a Felony punishable by 2 years in a Mexican prison.Can you say double standard…

    That being said I grew up in Arizona,yes we do have a large Hispanic community and many of my good friends are Hispanic,and I’m all for immigration as long as you do it legally come on in the border is open but if you want to come here illegally then I say we should match Mexico’s punishment for illegally immigrating there and then we could just send the bill to Mexico for the cost of housing people they encourage to cross illegally.Mexico’s second largest income generator is the importation of American dollars from undocumented workers,Second only to our friend the illegal drug trade.

  9. MOTFA on

    As the violence gets worse, the usa and canadian governments will have no choice but to legalize.

  10. Dreamer on

    I’m an Arizona native. Born and raised in TooStoned (Tucson), wich is about 100 miles form the mexico border. I have three childhood friends that grew up too become members of the law enforecment community. I also personally know four other people that work at different correctional facilities around the state.I wasn’t exactly the best kid growing up so i got to see the police … a few times. For all this experience all i can say on the matter is this… You reap what you sew. For 30+ years i have watched members of law enforcement in this state break every law you can think of. The time is coming when the actions of this country and our “war on drugs” is going to wash over into our streets… They same way it has in mexico, colombia and many other countries. Do i want to see it or do i indorce it? Hell no. I have friends on the front line of both sides.. but i don’t think we as a country are leaving ourselves very many options anymore for avoiding this type of thing. All i can say .. is end this unjust war NOW!

  11. beazelbud on

    Sucks people have to die over a plant. LEAD THE WAY CALIFORNIA CRON RUSH!

  12. Blazemonkey on

    Well, these so called peace officers have pledged to put their life on the line so stop people from peacefully enjoying cannabis, so they’re fair game. It is their choice.

    Likewise, most pigs from all over the world are just as corrupt as these cartels, so why the fuck should i care about the pigs that are trying to stop them?

    I know there are a lot of good cops out there, but any cop or authority that chooses to oppress the freedom of peaceful and otherwise law-abiding citizen is better off dead as far as I’m concerned.

    Sure, I’d rather a peaceful ending to the drug war, but we all know that will never happen. It’s time to take things to the next level.

  13. Anonymous on

    Arizona police have legislated legal racism.
    If you were mexican-looking (wtf does that even mean?) in arizona you have every chance of being imprisoned or killed for doing nothing illegal.
    I think the police in Arizona really had this coming to them. If you think they aren’t murderers do a little research. Shoot first ask questions later attitude makes them no better than the cartel. Let em Burn!

    Fucking Packs of Racist ‘Mericans down in Arizona. Don’t worry their “GOD” will save them and smite the evil.

  14. Anonymous on

    more deaths will only motivate the police to greater effort to stop the herb. this is not what we should wish. i would love the freedom to enjoy my smoke in peace, but i would never wish anyone to suffer or die. the hope in the herb is in its ability to open ones eyes to the views off others. heres to hoping that cooler heads will prevail and herb will be legal soon.

  15. old vet on

    despicable proffiteres in human misery .and i mean they lawenforcement commuinty have preyed on the mild marijuana consumer using military tactics killing and maiming many non violent smokers .i say its about time that they pay for thier aggressions.they have proffited on the blood of innocents now it is time the hunter has become the hunted good good good good

  16. Anonymous on

    that the illegals aren’t just bringing in weed….right?Meth,coke,heroin to name the more popular and more profitable drugs.To condone the assassination of ANY American citizen be they police or whoever is beyond vile and vindictive.I am no hippy,and I am not some ignorant redneck either.I have my MM card and truley want to see weed fully legal,and NOW.But to wish the deaths of anybody is wrong on all levels.

  17. Pastor Asian Rasta THC Ministry on

    interesting.The counter opinion of Mofta vs Hippie/love grower for Peace is why I feel this site is important.We can’t always agree, or need to agree totally.Mofta is correct,the more cops get murdered the sooner the entire drug war ends.Then ibogaine/shaman instruction can save the Earth.

  18. Anonymous on


  19. Anonymous on

    I don’t agree with you at all.If u truly r a mj user u would NOT have these thoughts.Please not our GOD no….PLEASE…

  20. Anonymous on

    what sort of brain dead fuck are you? just because you are to fucking lazy to sign a petition and/or go vote to legalize weed you go around promoting the death of humans? you will never enjoy any of the weed i grow. May instant karma strike your very soul! You lame son of a bitch!

  21. MOTFA on

    I hope this starts happening in the usa more and more often, and yes even in canada. I don’t want to see cops die, but if it helps to legalize marijuana, then i say to the cartels: