An Arizona ranching couple set up hidden cameras on their ranch earlier this year in the hopes of catching proof of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico, and now, the startling footage shows just how serious the problem is.
Jim and Sue Chilton have spent years speaking out about their issues with illegal migrant workers crossing over the border, saying that many of them are smuggling drugs right through their property. The couple says that in the past, they’ve had terrifying encounters with armed migrants and have even had their home broken into.
After years of claims, the Chilton’s finally have the proof they’ve always wanted. With the help of border control advocacy group SecureBorderIntel.org, the couple set up hidden cameras on their 50,000-acre cattle ranch. In June, the advocacy group came back to the ranch to check the footage, and the saw for themselves migrants carrying large backpacks that are used to smuggle drugs across the border.
“It just confirmed what we already knew,” said Jim Chilton. “The fear we have is running across a group coming across with an AK-47 dressed in camouflage garb and carpet shoes and small backpacks on their backs carrying meth, crack or heroin.”
Sue Chilton says that she used to wander the ranch on her own, but now, she’s terrified to go without someone by her side.
“I’m careful not to go out and be where I think I’m going to interact with these folks,” said Sue. “They are armed and they are cartel.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement to NBC News saying that the Arizona border is more secure than ever before since new technology has been enacted.
“Tucson Sector has rancher liaisons who are in constant contact with our stakeholders, including the Chilton family,” reads the statement. “As a result of previous conversations with the Chilton’s, Tucson Sector has deployed additional resources at the Chilton ranch to include personnel and technology.”
Jim Chilton says he hopes the footage will help people understand what it’s like for them to live in an area where people just roam through their land. Chilton calls it “outrageous.”