Pima County Facing Layoffs, Supervisors Stall On HIDTA, Stonegarden Grants

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias shocked the community when he shrugged off a report by Sheriff Mark Napier that layoffs were certain if the acceptance of a federal grant intended to fund border area law enforcement agencies was once again delayed.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors were expected to accept the $1.2 million Stonegarden, and the $1 million HIDTA grants on Tuesday. Instead, Supervisors Sharon Bronson and Ramon Valadez joined Elias in delaying acceptance of the grants.

Supervisor Ally Miller called the delay a “a blatant display of careless disregard for our community.”

“Sheriff Napier explained layoffs would occur within weeks if funds were not accepted. In response, Supervisor Elias shrugged his shoulders and the vote proceeded,” Miller advised constituents in an email. “The supervisors have accepted more than $16 mil in Stonegarden and HIDTA grant funds over the past 10 years. These same grants were accepted throughout the entire Obama administration.”

Related article: Pima County Opens Crime Portal, Brace For Flood!

In an interview on KFYI’s James T. Harris Show, National Border Patrol Council Vice-President Art del Cueto said Elias’ move was dangerous. “Obviously this is concerning because it sends a message to drug traffickers that there is an easier way to get their product into the United States. It should be a big concern to citizens of this state, and of this country. This is sending a message to the criminal element that there is an easier route.”

Del Cueto told Harris that Arizona is the “top route” for drug trafficking. A total of 50 percent of all illegal drugs entering the U.S., come through Arizona.

Related articles:

Operation Stonegarden Results In Arrest Of 10 Illegal Aliens

Operation Stonegarden Seizes Narcotics Near Marana

Operation Stonegarden Nets Over $200k In Narcotics

Pinal County, Operation Stonegarden Halts Drug Trafficking Group’s Efforts

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.”


  1. Reminds me of this Obama Administration

    National Review:
    Law & the Courts
    El Chapo’s Capture Puts ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ Back in the Headlines
    By Ian Tuttle

    January 22, 2016 12:08 AM

    Obama-administration scandals never resolve.
    They just vanish — usually, under a new scandal.

    So it was with one of this president’s earliest embarrassments, “Operation Fast and Furious,” designed to help the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) dismantle drug cartels operating inside the United States and disrupt drug-trafficking routes. Instead, it put into the hands of criminals south of the border some 2,000 weapons, which have been used to kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

    Now, Fast and Furious is back in the news. Earlier this month, a raid on the hidey-hole of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman recovered not only the notorious drug lord, but a (“massive”) .50-caliber rifle, capable of stopping a car or shooting down a helicopter, that originated with the ATF program. Rest easy, though: Only 34 such rifles were sold through the program.

    The news comes just days after a federal judge rejected President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege to deny Congress access to Fast and Furious–related records it requested back in 2012 as part of an investigation into the gun-walking operation. Despite the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and a host of other accusations of malfeasance against this White House, it remains this president’s sole assertion of executive privilege.

    Three-and-a-half years later, the question is still: Why?

    Three-and-a-half years later, the question is still: Why?

    In November 2009, the ATF’s Phoenix field office launched an operation in which guns bought by drug-cartel straw purchasers in the U.S. were allowed to “walk” across the border into Mexico. ATF agents would then track the guns as they made their way through the ranks of the cartel.

    At least, that was the theory. In reality, once the guns walked across the border, they were gone. Whistleblowers reported, and investigators later confirmed, that the ATF made no effort to trace the guns.

    In March 2010, a few ATF agents voiced an obvious concern: Couldn’t the guns end up being used in crimes? Seven months later, that’s exactly what happened. The brother of the former attorney general of the state of Chihuahua was murdered, and Fast and Furious weapons were found at the scene.

    In December, the scheme’s ramifications crossed back over the border. On December 14, four Border Patrol agents were staked out near Rio Rico, Ariz., eleven miles north of the Mexican border. A five-man “rip crew,” a group looking to rob drug smugglers crossing the border, opened fire when the agents attempted to apprehend. Agent Terry was struck in the back and bled to death. Two of the guns involved in the shootout were traced back to Fast and Furious, which continued for another six weeks.

    The operation was finally shut down with the help of Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), then ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who promptly opened an investigation. Two months later, Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), then chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, opened his own investigation in the House.

    #share#Operation Fast and Furious would have been bad enough. But the investigation made clear a widespread cover-up. In February, in response to a request from Grassley, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich submitted for the record a letter declaring that any claim “that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico — is false. ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.” In November, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that gun-walking was, in fact, used, and in December the Obama administration formally withdrew Weich’s letter from the congressional record — because it was, in Holder’s words, “inaccurate.”

    Operation Fast and Furious would have been bad enough. But the investigation made clear a widespread cover-up.

    By that time, Holder had become a figure of particular interest. What did the attorney general know about the operation, and when did he know it? In May 2011, he claimed to have known about gun-walking tactics for only a few weeks. But by October, new documents showed that Holder had been briefed about Operation Fast and Furious as early as July 2010. And in January 2010, just months after the ATF had launched Operation Fast and Furious, personnel from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a multi-agency network run by the Department of Justice, had been brought in to provide additional manpower.

    Furthermore, the operation may have had an explicitly political angle. E-mails obtained by CBS News in late 2011 showed ATF officials corresponding about the possibility of using Fast and Furious to push through a regulation requiring gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” In other words, the ATF permitted certain gun shops to conduct certain, inadvisable sales to dangerous people and then planned to point to those sales to justify the need for new reporting requirements.

    By the summer of 2012, Holder and the House Oversight Committee were at a standoff, the attorney general claiming he had been fully responsive to the committee’s request for documents, Issa claiming that the DOJ had withheld 1,300 key pages. President Obama, intervening, declared that the documents were protected under executive privilege — a risible claim, legally, and a suggestive one, given the White House’s denial of involvement. In late June, at the recommendation of the committee, Holder became the first sitting member of a presidential cabinet to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives.

    In September, the administration declared victory. The Department of Justice’s inspector general released a report recommending disciplinary action against 14 federal officials and absolving Holder — seemingly. In fact, the report noted a series of extraordinary coincidences in which, several times in 2010 and 2011, information about the program made it all the way to Holder’s desk — but without the attorney general’s ever managing to pass his eyes over it. Odd, that.

    Since then, the investigation into Fast and Furious has been tied up in the courts, where the House challenged the president’s executive-privilege claim.

    But the ATF & Co.’s horrendous judgment continues to take a toll. By the time of the House’s contempt vote, some 300 Mexicans had been killed or wounded by Fast and Furious firearms, and that number has surely risen. In December 2013, a walked gun was found at the site of a gunfight at a Mexican resort that left five cartel members dead.

    The guns have found their way north, too. A weapon owned by Nadir Soofi, one of the two Muslim terrorists who tried to shoot up Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” contest in Texas last May, was acquired through Fast and Furious.

    The guns have found their way north, too.

    It is difficult to overstate both how stupid and how incompetent were the whole host of federal officials involved in this fiasco, who first thought it was a swell idea to traffic thousands of guns to Mexican criminals, then blithely forgot about them. It is difficult, too, to overstate the contempt of this administration for transparency, given that, having made those fatal mistakes, its response was to hide them from a congressional inquiry, going so far as to invoke executive privilege to do so. At best, the operation and its aftermath were an exercise in astonishing malpractice; at worst, the administration knowingly exhibited a reckless disregard for human life — then covered it up.

    Under “Operation Fast & Furious,” the U.S. government became a de facto arms dealer to Mexican drug cartels and Islamist criminals.

    But this administration still wants to lecture Americans about gun control . . .
    Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute. @iptuttle

  2. Screw Grijalva, screw Eckstron, screw the BOS (except Ally) screw Chuck!!!!

    I’m sick of this sh__!!!

  3. Elias must want part of the $$ for one of his no-profits that continually vote for him. It how it works in Pima County. Those that don’t work get the $$$$ and those that work have to drive to get there on pot marked roads. Welcome ALL aliens to the sanctuary city of AZ. Doing all we can to keep you coming. Citizens don’t matter here.

  4. Even in a $1.3 billion dollar enterprise eventually not accepting the grants will rear its ugly head and something will have to give.

    The politics played by the far left is only hurting the county and the good people who live and work here. Undoubtedly the Ds who run it simoly don’t care. Politics first. County residence last.

  5. Can’t trust Napier or bos, birds of a feather.

    I have idea Chuck lets have another bond issue, NOT.

    To serve & protect. That is simple until you allow politicians to get involved. They want a cut of the pie ( money). I bet that is a shock to you, que no.

    Richard Hernandez

  6. Once again the three stooges are demonstrating thier loyalty by towing the Graftjalva Eckstrom cues to help bolster the Democratic parties voter rolls.
    Like three blind mice, who are obviously incapable of any real leadership, the needs, safety and concerns of the residents of Pima county will come low on the list of priorities for these clowns.
    The new Pima county matto should be, “We can’t expect better until we elect better”!

    The Oracle

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