Jun 12, 2007

catching the watchers

You can build a big fence. You can pack the border with guards. You can invest in high-tech gizmos and sign up citizen volunteers to watch for coyotes, literal and metaphorical. But you're battling human nature, and it's a pretty tough fight.
Pfc. Jose Rodrigo Torres, 26, and Sgt. Julio Cesar Pacheco, 25, both of Laredo, and Sgt. Clarence Hodge Jr., 36, of Fort Worth, were arrested near Laredo.

A Border Patrol agent found 24 illegal immigrants inside a van Torres was driving along Interstate 35 near Cotulla, Texas, about 68 miles north of the border, prosecutors said. Torres was in uniform at the time of his arrest. The van was leased by the National Guard.

Prosecutors accused Hodge of helping Torres pass through a Border Patrol checkpoint on the highway by making it look like the two were conducting Guard business. Pacheco was accused of recruiting soldiers to transport the migrants for $1,000 to $3,500 a trip.

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