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Governors Advance Border Security Partnerships

Press Release

Location: Phoenix, AZ


Napolitano, Bours fight drug trafficking, money laundering, human smuggling

Governor Janet Napolitano and Sonoran Governor Eduardo Bours met with local, state and federal officials to discuss the necessary steps to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and stop the increasing violence in border communities. The meetings were held in conjunction with the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) Plenary Session today in Tucson.

"While the U.S. Congress tries to find a comprehensive solution to border and immigration issues, Arizona and Sonora have made a joint commitment to action," Governor Napolitano said. "We find that we are most effective when we pool our local, state and federal manpower and resources on both sides of the border to deal with this major issue."

Throughout the AMC Plenary, Governor Napolitano has met with industry and political leaders to discuss how Arizona and Sonora can improve cross border agreements and provide for border security while, at the same time, facilitating legal commerce and economic growth.

Governor Napolitano joined Governor Bours, Deputy Attorney General of Mexico Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos and Patricio Patiño Arias, Undersecretary for Mexico's Secretariat of Public Security, in a border security briefing with federal, state and local officials to discuss international public safety partnerships and the necessary steps the agencies must do together to decrease the violence along the border. Action items included:

• Implementing the same process for "damming warrants" in Sonora that Arizona has successfully used to hinder human smuggling organizations. Arizona damming warrants - a technique that involves monitoring wire transfers of money used to pay smugglers - have been successful. But, as a result, criminal organizations have moved their activities across the international border into Sonora. To remedy the problem, Arizona investigators will now train Sonoran detectives in how to investigate these kinds of financial crimes.

• Increasing the number of license plate readers in law enforcement vehicles to obtain stolen vehicles crossing the border with $1 million in RICO funds.

• Extending the use of cross border communication technology between federal, state and local law enforcement to jointly apprehend coyotes, drug dealers, human smugglers and other criminal organizers crossing the border.
In a private meeting, Napolitano met with representatives of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to receive an update on drug trafficking in Arizona, including where the current major drug routes are located and how DEA is addressing the drug cartels in Mexico. This is the first time DEA has participated in an AMC Plenary Session.

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