Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Paul Babeu warned local hikers and campers on May 23 about armed Mexican cartel assassins who may be lurking in wilderness areas (video below).
"If you're going to travel there, be armed," Babeu said outside his office, notes KNXC. "If you're a citizen, be armed and do not be a victim."
According to Babeu, there are Mexican cartels, also known as "rip crews," who ambush rival cartels, and steal their money and drugs.
"We are taking this threat seriously and believe that the public and my deputies deserve to know that there is an elevated risk of encountering gun violence in certain areas of Pinal County," Babeu said in a press release on May 23.
The news station didn't mention that Babeu also attacked President Obama with some dubious claims in the same press release, but the Arizona Daily Independent noted that Babeu stated:
It’s a distressing reality that President Obama is unwilling to protect the public from armed incursions across the border and well into Arizona. We have been fighting the Sinaloa Cartel violence in Arizona for years.
We’ve arrested 21 of their scouts and many more smugglers last year, we are seizing thousands of pounds of their drugs and yet Obama’s response is to erect signs that warn American citizens that it’s not safe to travel.
I’m telling our citizens that want to enjoy the outdoors to travel armed and not let these drug cartels think they have any control over American soil.
In keeping with that citizen justice theme, KNXV interviewed a non-law enforcement Florida native, Kurt, who arms himself with an AR-15 assault rifle and patrols a wilderness area in Arizona.
Opposing Views has previously noted that there is a controversial movement of armed U.S. citizens who are traveling to border states, such as Arizona, to supposedly guard the U.S.-Mexico border without government authorization. These men cannot legally shoot or detain anyone, including undocumented immigrants.
Kurt did not say if he was part of a militia, but stated in the interview: "A lot of people don't even realize what's going on 100 yards from them ... The last time I looked it was the United States and if there's a problem here, there's a problem everywhere."