Monday, December 18, 2017

Efforts to Get Illegal Immigrant Smugglers – Not Illegals – Go Too Far

A young handyman in southern Arizona has been charged with allegedly smuggling illegal immigrants. There’s just one problem. The evidence overwhelmingly shows he was actually trying to transport them to the border patrol. Under the Obama administration, emphasis turned to targeting human smugglers instead of illegal immigrants, due to the politically correct climate dealing with illegal immigrants. Derrick McCoy, a 20-year-old handyman, is the latest casualty of this misguided approach.

The Arizona Daily Independent extensively covered the story. McCoy was asked to watch over the property of nearby neighbors Billy and Anna Grossman while they were out of town. Living in close proximity to the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the Grossmans are concerned about illegal immigrants and smugglers intruding, as well as wildlife. The couple was especially concerned about theft. The Grossmans have two horses, four dogs and five cats.

Sure enough, McCoy received a text message from neighbor David Robinson at 8:30 a.m. on November 11, alerting him that illegal immigrants had been seen near the property of two women and in front of the Grossman’s home. The women saw four Hispanic men in camo, who looked like the four men who had stolen a truck from one of their husbands four months previous. McCoy said that law enforcement takes 35 to 40 minutes to respond to incidents located there, since the Grossmans live in such a secluded location, so he thought he’d better go right over. He was told that the border patrol had been called already, so he did not bother calling them.

McCoy drove over to the Grossman’s property in his SUV and confronted the men. Only one of the four could speak English. When one of the men became belligerent, McCoy pulled out his gun and told them all to lie on the ground. Next, he told them to get into his SUV. He intended to drive them to the border patrol. They got into the car and lied down. A border patrol agent said a camera captured them getting into the SUV. While driving, McCoy said one of the men asked him if he would take them to Tucson. Since he was in a precarious situation with all four of them in his car, he said sure – even though he had no intention of letting them off the hook.

After a mere two minutes of driving, McCoy encountered several border patrol vehicles on the road. McCoy says he stopped immediately, got out of his car and told an agent there were illegal immigrants in his vehicle. The border patrol tried to claim afterward that McCoy tried to hide the fact that four grown men were lying down in his vehicle. They claim he told the men to “get down.” The illegal immigrants alleged afterward that they offered McCoy $200 to drive them, which McCoy denies agreeing to.  

The border patrol filed a federal criminal complaint against McCoy on November 13. He faces three to five years in prison if convicted. None of the border patrol agents are named in the complaint, an apparent anomaly. McCoy has been offered a plea deal.

The case against McCoy doesn’t pass the smell test. The Arizona Daily Independent sarcastically observes, “The idea that anyone with an ounce of sense would stop his vehicle for about 15 law enforcement vehicles and then lie about whether there were four grown men in his vehicle is worthy of a Marx Brothers comedy movie, but does not resemble anything that would happen in the real world, when an officer is in contact with an honest, sober citizen.” Why would McCoy try to evade the border patrol when he knew they’d already been called and were on their way? The border patrol saw the text message McCoy received. McCoy says he sees the border patrol in the area sometimes every day, sometimes only once a week.

The ranchers and farmers who hired McCoy could tell he didn’t move to the area in order to become a human smuggler. He was there to assist them, which included protecting their property from illegal immigrants and smugglers. The locals had nothing but good things to say about him to the Arizona Daily Independent. Neighbor David Robinson made a video with McCoy documenting what took place. McCoy lives with the Hargraves. Coni Hargrave believes his version of the story. “He just shoved his boots on and ran out of the house,” she said. “His main intention was to get them away from Billy’s so they wouldn’t take anything from him. He was responsible for Billy’s property while Billy and Anna were out of town.” John Hargrave watched the scene unfold from his front window as McCoy drew his firearm and had the illegal immigrants lie on the ground.

Misleading the illegal immigrants into briefly thinking he wasn’t going to turn them over to the border patrol, because McCoy was nervous about his safety being outnumbered and driving, is not the same as human smuggling. McCoy was performing the exact opposite of smuggling – he was turning the illegal immigrants in.

What this likely comes down to is some border patrol agents think they have to do something about illegal immigration, but since arresting illegal immigrants is considered politically incorrect, they are turning to arresting human smugglers instead. Since McCoy is white – so there won’t be a massive outcry – he’s an easy target. John Hargrave says, “It’s a feather in their cap. They can say they caught a smuggler. It looks good on paper, in other words.”

Billy Grossman goes one step further in his analysis, “They’re more after Americans than they are illegals,” he said. Ed Ashurst, a ranch manager and author who writes extensively on border issues, wonders why the border patrol didn’t arrest the four men before the confrontation, since they must have seen them on camera. This is a case of Orwellian, gross over prosecution, and it is horrific they have to ruin the life of a young man with an impeccable reputation in order to accomplish their politically correct agenda.

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