/ Modified may 9, 2016 4:47 p.m.

Can Inland Checkpoints Stop Border Drug Trafficking?

Border Patrol union chief says yes; Douglas mayor says they don't work.

5-9-16 McSally at Hearing Martha McSally held a congressional field hearing in Sahuarita, Arizona on May 9, 2016.
Bob Lindberg

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Rep. Martha McSally held a congressional field hearing Monday morning in Sahuarita. The topic was the U.S. Mexico border and the people who live and work there.

Border Patrol Union representative Art Del Cueto testified that agents are beefing up checkpoints away from the border. He defended the practice as the best way to stop the flow of drugs from the cartels.

“The drug cartels control the border the same way that many prisons are controlled by the inmates," Del Cueto said. "Nothing moves along this border without their permission and illegal aliens and narcotics are simply two lines of business within that organization."

Douglas Mayor Danny Ortega took issue with the assertion that the checkpoints work.

“I unfortunately disagree with Mr. Del Cueto," Ortega said. "In talking with some of the outlying areas, they want more agents closer to the border to try to stop the people, primarily drugs at this time.”

Mayor Ortega said there also must be a way to better integrate agents into the community.

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