Pima County Supervisors Reject Over $1 Million DHS Stonegarden Grant

On Tuesday, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted against accepting over $1 million from the federal government through a grant program known as Operation Stonegarden. Although the County has accepted the funding for years, Supervisor Richard Elias claimed accepting the money now would put deputies in the position of enforcing immigration laws.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the program to “form partnerships with local sheriffs, highway patrol, and city and tribal police in 2003-2004. In 2009, Obama administration Homeland Security Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano testified before a congressional committee in praise of the program. She stated, “Operation Stonegarden grants direct critical funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement operations across the country.” said Secretary Napolitano. She was “proud to announce that the funding provides additional flexibility to ensure that our first responders are equipped with the resources they need to confront the complex and dynamic challenges that exist along our borders.”

Napolitano said the allocations reflected “President Obama’s increased emphasis on the Southwest border in response to cartel violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Based on greater risk, heavy cross-border traffic and border-related threat intelligence, nearly 76 percent of Operation Stonegarden funds will go to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas—up from 59 percent in fiscal year 2008.” Napolitano claimed that Operation Stonegarden funds would be “used for additional law enforcement personnel, overtime, travel and other related costs in order to further increase our presence along the borders.”

The Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard praised Napolitano’s announcement of increased Operation Stonegarden funding. “Since the Mexican cartels have made Arizona the leading gateway for smuggling humans, drugs and guns, these additional funds are well-targeted,” Goddard said in a press release. “We are strengthening border security in several respects, which include forging a closer relationship with our Mexican law enforcement partners. This money will be put to immediate use to protect Arizonans and fight border crime.”

Nothing has changed since Napolitano and Goddard cheered Operation Stonegarden except the occupant of the White House. In fact, the negative results of illegal immigration made headlines this month when in January, Grant Ronnebeck’s father Steve marked the third year anniversary of the shooting death of his son. Grant Ronnebeck was working as a clerk in a Mesa QT convenience store, when he was killed by an illegal alien, Apolina Altimirano.

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On Sunday, an Uber driver and an NFL football player were mowed down by an illegal alien driving while drunk.

The drug trade violence is primarily impacting the poor in southern Arizona. It is widely known that Mexican drug cartels have turned vacant houses in communities like South Tucson into stash houses. However, not long ago a drug bust was made at a “stash house” in a posh neighborhood in the area’s northern foothills.

Elias said he worried that deputies would work with ICE. At the same time, the supervisors were asked to give RICO funds to a program that pays women – some of which are suspected of being in the country illegally – to become community activists. The supervisors delayed a vote on that item when the legality of the expenditures was questioned.

“Pima County Board of Supervisors have been accepting the Stone Garden grant funding for all the years I have been in office. The board has accepted $5 million dollars in Stone Garden grants since 2013. The sudden concern regarding associated pension costs is shocking. Meanwhile World View space port deal was funded more than $17 million and between the Jan 8th memorial and the soccer fields there is $40 million budgeted. It seems there is always funding for the crony projects as core services are left unfunded. This decision is irresponsible and it will hurt the community as policing activities are cut to accommodate the loss in funding for the Pima County Sheriff Department,” said Supervisor Ally Miller.

According to DHS, Operation Stonegarden is intended to support Border States and territories in accomplishing the following objectives:

● Increase capability to prevent, protect against, and respond to border security issues;

● Increase coordination and collaboration among Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies;

● Continue the distinct capability enhancements required for border security and border protection;

● Provide intelligence-based operations through CBP/BP Sector Level experts to ensure safety and operational oversight of Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies;

● Continue to increase operational, material and technological readiness of State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies.

Operation Stonegarden “funds must be used to increase operational capabilities of Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement, promoting a layered, coordinated approach to law enforcement within United States Border States and territories.”

Supervisors accepted similar grants in recent years


  1. About time the Pima County Board of Supervisors started paying attention to the federal grants they normally rubber stamp. The Pima County Sheriff’s Dept. has been abusing the Stonegarden program for years by using the program as a pretext to conduct traffic stops inside the county absent reasonable suspicion or probable cause on behalf of their handlers in Customs & Border Protection. See the link below to PCSD Stonegarden enforcement statistics between 2012 & 2017 and pay close attention to the 13% citation to traffic stop ratio associated with those statistics:


    Additionally, the PCSD routinely allows its deputies to participate in this federal grant program without any training or proper oversight along with allowing deputies to actively work at interior federal immigration roadblocks in a general law enforcement capacity, something SCOTUS has ruled to be illegal.

  2. Oracle, it was Valdez strings that got pulled. NOW he wants the money. Yea, yesterday it was dirty money, and they will help arrest ILLEGALS that the Stupidvisors so desperately want in our community and now not so much. You are right, without double standards, the looney left would have none. SSDD in liberal land,

  3. Latest thing I’ve heard is Dingleberry desperately wants the money, so now he’s pulled racist Elias strings who now wants a revote to accept the funding.
    So much for those steadfast convictions.
    Once again demonstrating that if it wasn’t for double standards the looney left would have no standards.

    The Oracle

  4. This is great. It supports Miller’s idea of less government spending and oversight. This denial in funding should reduce my taxes, just like we elected the BOS to do!

  5. Perhaps Richard you should read what you write. Maybe the ADI is protecting the rest of us from your racist drivel.

    Proof read you comments.

  6. SanFranTucson Pimaco has been Californicated – ‘your’ elected officials at work – I’d like to hear from the folks applauding this measure


  8. If the people of Pima County don’t vote these people out then they deserve what they get. Problem is the rest of us have to suffer from their poor decisions. Richard Elias is no different than a child molester in my book, hang ’em high.

  9. Supervisor Richard Elias had better realize that there are probably more citizens who do not support illegal immigration. Try to go to Mexico illegally and see how fast you get thrown in the slammer if caught. If you are wealthy enough to bribe the Mexican authorities you might get out quickly. If you are poor, you sit your butt in their filthy facility until you can get someone to help you from the USA. Breaking the law is still breaking the law is still wrong last time I checked.

  10. I hear some people want to blame the sheriff for not having his act together.
    And those certain individuals now want to think Chuck is on their side.
    The blame should and is due to Chuck and those 3 stooges on the board.

  11. Curious. Couldn’t the Huckster have figured out a way to divert that million to the bike path through creative account? Always worked before.

  12. Well, so much for enforcing our nation’s laws. Pima County’s leaders again lead the way in setting a bad example for its citizens.

  13. In the end. What is right is wrong. And what is wrong is right. Last one out turn off the lights and lock the doors. PCBOS City of Tucson and TUSD will drag the entire community into bankruptcy. 25+ years of fiscal mismanagement.

  14. The Board is protected by an armed Sheriff Deputy. Richard Elias called upon the Deputy to remove a speaker. It seems as if they enjoy when the Sheriff’s Department serves them, but they refuse to provide Sheriff’s protection for legal citizens. This exposes their Elitist attitudes.

  15. So, like so many decisions by the Huckelberry led BOS this had nothing to do with the reasons submitted on the grant because the wording is exactly the same as previous years. Chuck has turned Pima county into a “sanctuary” County with out having the honesty or courage to stand up and declare Pima County is a “Sanctuary” for Illegal entrants.

    Thanks for making us all safer Chuck, Sharon, Richard and Ramona.

  16. Each ‘golden nugget’ illegal is worth over $10,000 per year of confiscated tax dollars that politicos, bureaucrats and labor unions stuff their pockets with. There are an estimated 30,000 illegals in Tucson for a whopping $300 MILLION per year. The Pima County Board of Slavemasters is just trying to protect the plantation.

    With a teacher to student ration of 19:1, that’s 1500 teachers just in Pima County solely for the illegals. That’s 20% of the entire public K-12 education budget.

  17. Watch the video…This isn’t about Elias’ comments…that was his typical racist side show. Sharon Bronson and Chuck Huckelberry clearly coordinated this in advance. Bronson spoke first. Bronson worried about spending?? LOL. Bronson and Huckelberry playing politics to start the slow drum beat to unelect Sheriff Napier in the next election. We are only 1.5 years away from the start of the campaign.
    Hope someone has your back Sheriff Napier!

  18. Just when you think the criminal board can’t possible sink any lower. If this is allowed to continue much longer we will soon become the Detroit of the Southwest.

  19. You were expecting what from the BOS? Law enforcement? What a joke. This is the same county that put water barrels in the desert for the ILLEGALS. This is the same county that spent money to keep a money making mine out of Pima County. This is the same county that takes taxable land off the tax rolls. This is the same county that is the 8th poorest in the nation because of the lack of good paying jobs courtesy of the cronies that want cheap labor. This is the same county that spends millions of taxpayer dollars on crony businesses and crony projects. On top of all of that the King makes as much as the President of the US as far as compensation. What a great gig. Give to the already rich and take and take and take and take from the taxpayers. Damn, wish I had that job. Open borders and cheap labor right BOS? Thought so.

  20. Stupid is as stupid does.
    Stupidvisor Richard Elias has once again proven that he is a out right racist pig of legendary proportions.
    Placing the safety of Pima county residents and American citizens well behind the unchecked free movement of criminal aliens within our borders.
    Rather then follow the current existing laws, Supervisor Elias will piss away a cool million dollars in order to flaunt the rule of law to safeguard criminal aliens who he obviously values greater then his constituents who he freely sickles from.
    Supervisor Elias and his fellow cronies on the board of stupid will soon be raising YOUR taxes again to cover their mismanagement of YOUR money.
    Elections have consequences, next time vote wisely, stop voting down party lines or by Latino sounding names, that Tucson tradition of leadership choice isn’t getting the job done.

    The Oracle

  21. Stone garden funds not only increased police presence in the rule areas, they also give deputies an opportunity to work overtime in light of the fact that Pima county does not pay their deputies all that well. Pima county continues to give employees the shaft. A few years ago the county took away all retiree health benefits. Only huckleberry makes any money at Pima County and a select elite few They have to keep the money for their crony projects and for many of the useless jobs they provide for people who do nothing at the county

    • Don’t forget Huckleberry’s Hounds headed by Citizen failure Mark Evans. Pima county’s million dollar communications staff is more than twice as large as Maricopa County’s communications department..

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