Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu gave Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and Breitbart News a helicopter tour of an area near Florence, Arizona, on Aug. 19. According to Babeu, about 70 miles inside the U.S.-Mexico border is used by Mexican drug cartels.
Breitbart News asked Babeu who has operational control of the area and he replied, "Nobody does."
Babeu was trying to show Carson how the drug cartels have created scout posts where scouts look for U.S. authorities to tip off smugglers.
“If they can operate up to this degree, 70 miles north of the border, in law enforcement we call that a clue,” Babeu told the conservative news site later at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
Carson told Breitbart News:
"We should stop them at the border. They shouldn’t be 70 miles inside the border. We should stop them at the border. As the sheriff indicated, if we were to take like 6,000 troops and put them at the border, you wouldn’t have those people coming inside the border."
ABC 15 reports that before the helicopter tour, Carson proposed the use of drones for air strikes to blow up the cartel's outposts, but Babeu said his office was not going to use drones.
When ABC 15 asked Carson about his drone statement, he said: "Well, here's the bottom line, you guys don't seem to be able to understand this. I suggest that we use all the things that are available to us, but we use mostly the military expertise."