06/22/2010

Off-duty cops in Az. border city told to carry guns

Smugglers threatened two off-duty officers after they stopped a vehicle filled with 400 pounds of marijuana

By Jacques Billeaud
Associated Press

PHOENIX — Police in the Arizona border city of Nogales have been told to carry guns when they aren't at work after smugglers threatened to retaliate against two off-duty officers who stopped a vehicle carrying 400 pounds of marijuana.

Nogales Police Chief Jeff Kirkham said Tuesday he considers the threat credible because various informants who spoke with investigators were able to identify the specific officers who thwarted the drug load earlier this month.

Kirkham said the U.S. Border Patrol has sent additional agents to the stretch of desert east of the city where the off-duty officers, riding horses, stopped the smugglers.

The smugglers left behind their vehicle and fled into Mexico.

No one was injured in the bust.

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