[Guest post by DRJ]
A prominent Arizona rancher was shot and killed Saturday and authorities suspect the perpetrator was an illegal immigrant:
“At a news conference Monday, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said Krentz was out checking water line and fencing on the land Krentz’s family has ranched since 1907. Krentz had weapons with him in his all-terrain vehicle but didn’t use them, according to Dever.
Investigators said Krentz apparently came upon one person when he was shot. Krentz was heard telling his brother “illegal alien” on the radio earlier Saturday, and the area of the slaying is a known smuggling corridor, according to authorities.
While Krentz was still in his vehicle, mortally wounded, he managed to drive the ATV away from the scene at a high rate of speed before becoming unconscious. The ATV still had its lights on and the engine running when authorities found it.
Foot tracks were identified and followed approximately 20 miles south to the Mexico border by sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Border Patrol trackers and Department of Corrections dog chase teams, authorities said.”
The motive may have been retaliation for turning in drug smugglers:
“Dever told a Tucson newspaper that while investigators don’t have a motive yet, retaliation has been raised as a possibility. The day before the shooting, the victim’s brother, Phil Krentz, reported drug smuggling activity on the ranch to the Border Patrol.
Agents found 290 pounds of marijuana on the ranch and followed tracks to where they found and arrested eight illegal immigrants. All were still in custody when the shooting occurred.”
New Mexico and Arizona leaders have requested an enhanced Border Patrol presence at the border in response to this killing, but it’s not just ranchers who are at risk. Both local ranchers and Border Patrol agents face heightened dangers:
“Drug smugglers have apparently set “booby traps” for U.S. Border Patrol agents on roads along the border near Deming [NM] , agency officials said Monday.
The devices consist of barbed wire stretched like clotheslines across trails used by agents on all-terrain vehicles. The lines, which are difficult to spot, are about four feet off the ground and appear to be intended to knock a rider off the ATV.”
Meanwhile, the violence continues in Juarez, including 5 men who were gunned down in an auto shop and another who was killed in his bed.