Arizona rancher on Sinaloa cartel: ‘They control the whole area' (surveillance video included)

#1 (Arizona) - Wave after wave – night after night and day after day. It’s a familiar sight for some ranchers along the Mexico-Arizona border: heavily armed drug and human smugglers. They cross into the state, traveling on foot for miles and carrying their load on their backs – the drugs inside could be worth millions. The smugglers will do whatever it takes to get it to its destination. That’s why rancher Jim Chilton wants a border wall completed along the country’s southern boundary with Mexico. “The Sinaloa cartel has cartel scouts on our mountains and they essentially control the area,” he said.

You have to see Chilton’s surveillance video to believe it. His hidden motion-sensor-activated cameras have captured hundreds of smugglers crossing. Often they’re geared up with high tech equipment, military grade satellite phones, radios and binoculars. “We’ve seen cartel guys with AK-47’s and 20 guys packing drugs behind them. It can be pretty scary,” said Chilton. And he’s come face to face with them. “We have had MS13 (Mara Salvatrucha 13) standing in our front yard, with all the teardrops and stuff. It’s pretty scary and with my wife at home by herself its worrisome,” said Chilton. “I’ve had as many as 17 drug packers standing in my front yard. I looked out the peep hole, took my rifle, stepped out like this, ‘agua…agua.’ I go over, turn the hose on, everybody gets a drink of water and I say, ‘adios’ and they go on.” Out of Chilton’s 50,000 acres, five and a half miles of it touches Mexico.

The fence that borders his property, which has been standing for around 100 years, was redone 50 years ago. However, it’s made only of barbwire fencing and steel posts. That’s the only thing that separates the U.S. and Mexico for about 25 miles. So when it comes to a border wall, yes, he wants it built – and this video proves why. “This whole area, on my ranch and my neighbor’s ranch, ceded to the Sinaloa cartel,” Chilton said. Chilton voted for Donald Trump because of his border wall plan.

But before you judge him or jump to any conclusions, there’s so much more to this know about this 77-year-old man. “I grew up ranching. By the time I was 18, I thought I knew everything about it, which was untrue about it,” said Chilton. “And then I went off to ASU university.” Chilton has two master’s degrees, one in economics and the other in political science. In 1987, he decided to give up his financial career and bought what is now known as the Chilton ranch. Here, along with his wife Sue, he’s continued his family’s tradition of raising cattle. He understands why some would cross the border seeking a better life “We’ve fed them, given food out and I have these 22 wells with drinking fountains on them and you want to be helpful,” Chilton said, “but all that changed in 2008.” That’s when the economy crashed, jobs in the U.S. dried up, and a new dangerous trade set up shop through his property.

“What has happened in our area – the Sinaloa cartel has taken over and they control the whole area,” explained Chilton. “In that peak there’s someone right up there, there’s someone watching us, and they can determine if we’re Border Patrol or not Border Patrol.” He says the Sinaloa cartel presence continues to increase in the area. “We’ve ceded the cartel 20 miles of the United States with their cartel scouts in the mountains, and I say we need the Border Patrol at the border rather than in Tucson,” said Chilton. So how can the U.S. take that land back? According to Chilton, they need to use a football strategy.“A football team on defense lines up in the line of scrimmage and you have a back field,” Chilton said. “And we need the border patrol lined up behind a wall and a backfield. The way it is now, the football team is 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage, you never win, you lose every time.”

Essentially, he said the cartel has too good of field position to lose. How easy is it for the smugglers to cross the border? Chilton is a two-hour drive from a barb wire fence that anyone can climb over to enter the U.S. “Any young, 19, 20-year-old throws his pack of drugs over the fence, crawls under or over and walks into the United States. There’s no Border Patrol,” he said. The drug packers who cross wear carpet shoes, trying to leave no trace of their journey across the border and along any of the dozens of trails that crisscross Chilton’s property.

The nearest border patrol stations are in Nogales or Tucson. Due to the terrain, it takes them about two and a half hours to reach this area of Chilton’s land. “There’s actually a possibility that we could be being watched right now,” said Chilton. “I assure you, they know we’re here, that is, the cartel knows we’re here. You know, you don’t really think about that, because you think you’re on the side of the United States, you think it’s safe. For the first 20 miles inside the U.S., we have essentially ceded to the Sinaloa cartel control of the area.” This isn’t a political issue for Chilton – it’s a reality. “If good people could understand the issues and the implications, they would come to the conclusions that we need to secure the border and have forward operation bases near the border,” he said. But just because he wants a border wall doesn’t mean he also wants to deport everyone here illegally.



I have lived in Arizona since 1978. I lived 3 1/2 hours north of the border for 30 years. People that live in the Northeast have no idea what it has been like.
Sadly, so many have lost their lives in the desert coming from Mexico - hundreds and hundreds perhaps thousands. Even though Mexico even warns its citizens about the dangers of crossing in the summer
and how much water is needed, people aren’t prepared and die excruciating deaths. There is a good documentary on Netflix about the coroner’s office in Tucson and how they work tirelessly trying to identify the bodies found in the desert so they can be returned to their families in Mexico or Central America. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name, but worth watching.
Hopefully, if a wall is built it will prevent more of these kinds of deaths.
The human smuggling and drug smuggling are separate tragedies.


All these problems could be stopped if they just went after the source (the massive fields where these drugs are grown) Hint, it takes roughly 3-5 acres of poppy plants to supply one moderate heroin user, now imagine what kind of acreage they need to have to keep almost every city in the US supplied!

There would be justification to use a military invasion, due to how many people the drugs have killed and lives it has destroyed, it is really terrorism and the cartels are classed as a terrorist organization.

The fact they have not went after the source adds weight to my theory that there is collusion between the cartels and US.

When you break it down, in order for there to be a ‘war on drugs’ war on terror, war on___, there MUST be a drug problem, a terrorist problem, etc. See what Im saying? If they destroy the source, there would be no more ‘war’.

Just like in the medical world, its FAR more lucrative to ‘treat’ rather than cure.


A lot of people think that ignoring all the illegal activities going on at the border and letting everyone cross the border would be more Christian and more compassionate.

From the drug trafficking and human trafficking, this is not the case.


That would, of course, be an act of war against Mexico.

But one has to wonder why Mexico itself has not taken that approach. Is the country that corrupt?


The drug cartels have ruined Mexico.

I would go ahead and call it a failed state. People who have taken initiative to oppose the cartels have ended up separated from their heads.


Yes, Mexico is ridiculously corrupt. From a resource and labor perspective there’s no reason for it to be a 3 world country. Other than corruption and poor government there’s no reason it shouldn’t be another US or Canada.


yes I think it is. :frowning:


We have sent our military to invade in other cases where lots of US lives were lost, 9-11 for one. The drug problem has take far more lives and ruined even more lives, so I believe the justification is there to send in military.


yes, Mexico is corrupt, but Mexico does not have a drug problem, they have no war on drugs, the US is the main consumer of their drugs.

And as Ive said before…for the war on drugs to continue, there must be a steady flow of drugs constantly coming in.

LOTS of industries benefit financially from the war on drugs, law enforcement especially, locally, something like 80% of ALL crime is drugs or drug related, if the source was destroyed or there was no drugs coming in anymore, all that goes away, budgets get smaller, less jobs for law enforcement, less need for prisons, etc etc

Its far more lucrative to treat a problem rather than cure it.


It is ridiculous to say Mexico has no drug problem. Of course they do and that is why there are so many drug cartels. Do you think all Mexican people are pious church going citizens? The drugs produced in Mexico are used by Mexicans, Americans and I am sure are distributed around the world. The drug cartels are a big problem for Mexico.


This is the real life Sicario, ugh.
Build the wall!


Of course people in Mexico use drugs, but the cartel wars aren’t about the Mexican market, they’re about the American market.


Mexico has a drug problem because they can’t control or disband the cartels. They can’t stop the cartels.


Border Wars.

57 episodes.


That movie actually got it right…the CIA is directly involved in ‘managing’ the drug trade.


Wrong reason, I doubt many Mexican people could afford these drugs. Heroin is around $120. per gram in the US. The cartels focus is on its number one customer, the US, there is just not enough profit to be made in Mexico, people cannot afford.

Im not sure if its available, but Id like to see the overdose numbers and hospital visits due to drug use for Mexico.


It is a kleptocracy. The US and Canada would be wise to invade Mexico and crush the criminals, from the gangs controlling the drugs to their partners running the government.


I like that guy. He reminds me of most of the people around here. He is totally into helping those in need, loves the hispanic people, wants to allow people to come to the US, but just wants security.


As long as there is a market, there will be a source. Drying up the market would work a lot better.

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