Bandits in Cop Cars; But Napolitano Isn’t Listening, Arizona Sheriff Says

By Susan Jones | December 16, 2010 | 11:37 AM EST

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. ( Starr)

( - Paul Babeu, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, says give him half an hour, and he could tell President Obama how to secure the U.S. border with Mexico -- if only the president and other administration officials would listen to him.

Babeu joked that he must be on the White House “do not call” list, even though he’s the president of the Sheriff’s Association for the State of Arizona.

In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Babeu lamented the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent on Tuesday at the hands of “bandits” – illegal aliens in the U.S. who steal from cartel members who sneak drugs into the United States.

It’s an ongoing problem, Babeu said: “We had just this past weekend other bandits that are using what appear to be a police car – with lights and sirens, red and blue lights, push bumper, spotlights – that are stopping vehicles, trying to steal drugs from cartel members -- in my county.”

Yet Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano doesn’t talk to him, Babeu said – “because we have a different opinion than her about the reality of what our country is facing.”

Babeu knows exactly what he would tell Napolitano and the president – if they would listen to him or accept his invitation to “come see what we’re facing.”

“We need 6, 000 armed soldiers,” Babeu said. “We need to build and complete the double barrier fences that he suspended – stopped the construction; and then, a novel concept – we need to enforce the law. You come into America, you’re breaking America’s laws – you’re apprechended then you’re formally deported. You come back into our country illegally, you’re going to prison.  Those three things…will secure our borders,” Babeu told Fox News.

As things stand now, neither President Obama nor Janet Napolitano has spoken to Babeu, despite his efforts to get them on the phone – or to visit Pinal County in person.

He said Napolitano’s visit to Arizona today and tomorrow does not signal that the administration is taking the danger any more seriously: “Here we’ve heard nothing except that the border’s more secure than ever, unprecedented resources…”

On Tuesday, in a conference call with border sheriffs and police chiefs that did not include Babeu, Napolitano reviewed what the Homeland Security Department has done to boost border security in the past year.

It’s not enough, Babeu argues.

As has reported, Napolitano's conference call came on the same day that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered near Nogales, Arizona.

Pinal County is in south-central Arizona, about 70 miles from the U.S. Mexico border, but it is along the drug corridor leading from Mexico to Phoenix.

Also see:
Sheriff Babeu: It’s ‘An Outrage’ Obama Stopped Building Border Fence (Aug. 26, 2010)
Arizona Sheriff Says Cops Are Being Killed by Illegal Aliens; Joins Call for U.S. Troops at Border (Apr. 20, 2010)
Arizona Sheriff: ‘Our Own Government Has Become Our Enemy’ (Aug. 1, 2010)
Arizona Now Has ‘Whopping 30’ National Guard Troops and 15 Billboard Signs Warning Citizens About Drug Cartels (Sept. 1, 2010)