Cochise County Sheriff, son threatened, cartels ties rumored

dannelsThe Cochise County Sheriff’s Office has determined that recent threats by associates of the Avechuco family in Sierra Vista are credible. As a result, the Sheriff’s Office has instituted measures to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers including Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels and his son Sierra Vista Officer Justin Dannels.

The threats of revenge against the Sheriff, his chief deputy Thad Smith, his son, and law enforcement in general have been received through word of mouth and telephonically for the death of Lauro Jesus Avechuco, a felon with an extensive criminal history. Lauro Avechuco was killed by the younger Dannels, when he allegedly attempted to run Dannels down with his vehicle after a traffic stop on April 13.

The Sierra Vista Herald reported on April 14, that after Avechuco stopped his vehicle momentarily, the vehicle sped up and drove into the Golden Acres neighborhood. According to police, Avechuco then drove toward Dannels “who opened fire with his department-issued sidearm, striking and killing Avechuco,” according to the Herald.

According to Cochise County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Carol Capas, Lauro Avechuco had an extensive criminal history dating back to at least 2002 including arrests for assault, and dealing drugs. Avechuco pleaded guilty in January 2014 to driving on a suspended license. It was the third time he was charged with the same crime.

Capas said each threat is assessed and measures are instituted on a case by case basis. For security reason, Capas could not reveal what measures have been put in place in this case. She did say that the Department is working closely with other law enforcement agencies in the area.

Capas said the threats appear to be coming from multiple sources in the United States and Mexico.

Avechuco’s brother, alleged to be the primary source of the threats, and the large Avechuco family is rumored to have close ties with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

A popular Arizona website, reported earlier this week, “Sylvia Longmire, a Breitbart News border security expert and contributing editor, lives in southern Arizona. She is quoted as saying, “The region immediately south of Sierra Vista and Naco is predominantly controlled by the Sinaloa cartel. If credible threats are coming from that region, it is either from the Sinaloa directly, or from a criminal enterprise under the umbrella of the cartel.”

Lauro Avechuco
Lauro Avechuco

The rural communities in Southern Arizona are spread out across a vast border region, but word travels fast. The lines of communication, according to one area resident, were burning up with the news of Avechuco’s death and the resulting threats. Tensions are especially high in the area as the cartels have become more aggressive and very bold in their trafficking activities.

The news of the threats has prompted expressions of concern and words of encouragement from the community for the Sheriff, his staff and his family, according to Capas.

Dannels became sheriff after the death of Cochise County legend, Sheriff Larry Dever who died when he lost control of his pickup truck as he was on his way to meet one of his six sons for a hunting trip in the White Horse Lake area.

Dever grew to be a national figure for his calm but strong demeanor during the heated national debate over border security. His friend, rancher Rob Krentz, was killed by what many believe were drug smugglers. At the time of Krentz’s death, Dever became a symbol of border area law enforcement officers and their nearly impossible jobs due to the federal government’s failure to secure the border.

While his appointment to the position by the Board of Supervisors caused some consternation initially, Dannels has been working to gain confidence with community members and members of the Department.

In accordance with Sierra Vista Police Department policy, Justin Dannels has been placed on administrative leave until a joint investigation by Sierra Vista police, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI is completed and reviewed by the Cochise County Attorney’s Office, according to the Sierra Vista Herald.

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The U.S. Mexico border is wide open

Arizona to receive fraction of necessary Customs and Border Patrol agents for ports

Barber drops in on border area ranchers, visits Douglas mayor

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  1. LAURO was a good friend of mine. And you Americans saying good job Justin Daniel’s and go cops well you know what f that cop. The passenger that got away is a friend of mine to so keep saying stuff about him or i will find you.

  2. Lauro was a good friend of mine. And you americans saying good job justin daniels and go cops well you know what f that cop. The passanger that got away is a friend of mine to. Reamenber tu next.

  3. Wow did this come directly from the sheriffs? Because your bashing Lauro and, talking about Dever like he’s a saint. Wasn’t he drunk driving ?no mention of that though. As for dannels senior, he too has a history of killing. All we the public know is what the police tell us. And another thing Lauro was ,convicted of disorderly conduct not assault. This whole article is nothing but slander toward Lauro and even his grieving family.

  4. Worried, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING about Lauro Avechuco. I’ve seen him step up and be there not only for his 2 biological daughters but took in an ex’s child as his own, moved the child in when his ex couldnt provide for the child herself. I’ve seen him cheering and supporting his daughter at her softball games…as recently as the Thursday before he was shot down. So to make him out to be a horrible person when you have NO CLUE WHAT KIND OF MAN HE WAS TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS OUTRAGEOUS. This man left behind 3 children HEARTBROKEN OVER HIS DEATH AND THE MANNER IN WHICH HE DIED. IT TAKES A PIECE OF SHIT TO CONTINUE TO TALK SHIT ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS NO LONGER WITH US AND LEAVES BEHIND 3 GRIEVING CHILDREN. Have a heart and think of the innocent children who loved this man and will think of him always.

  5. Tasha, the people defending that scum Lauro Avechuco are connected to him in some way. Most of these fine citizens have criminal records themselves, such as for carrying drug paraphenelia, physical assault, reckless driving, driving while with suspended license, DUIs, theft, etc. Perhaps he even supplied these people with drugs himself and now they are upset over their own personal loss. These people stick together like flies on feces and you are one of them. The police department has known for years about the smuggling ring in the area and are watching them closely. Lauro was a big target because he was not a good man. He’s now luckily off the streets and no longer a threat to our community. I am grateful for our local police and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department.

  6. tsaha: I have no dog to hunt in this argument but what evidence do you have to present other than your allegations about Dannels? I don’t even live in Cochise County so i lack the background knowledge about both parties. I do believe in having all of the facts to make my decisions.

  7. Mark dannels is a liar and has more to do with the cartel than Lauro ever did and his son is a murder. Lauro was never arrested for drugs. You should do your research before you make a story with untrue facts.

    • Wow Tasha, I went back and reread the story and couldn’t find any what appeared to be made up facts. It appeares that the ADi either got thier information directly from the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department or the Sierra Vista Hearld (usually credible) as a source. Do you know Mr Dannels. Perhaps Laruo is a personal friend since you referr to him by his first name.

      Perhaps we should wait for the results of the investigations. Have a nice day.

  8. Our government does not need to be sending our troops to Poland or the Baltic countries in a feeble attempt to intimidate Putin. We need to send in a few Navy Seal and Reconn Marine Teams to our borders to put an end to the cartel violence, as well as send in the SEABEES to construction an impenetrable wall on our southern border.

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