“We really don’t need the militia here… It just creates a problem from my point of view, because we don’t know who they are.” – Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio
Brownsville – To catch people making an illegal crossing from Mexico, you search for the place where they have left their trash in the well-worn grooves of the “porous” U.S.-Mexican border.
They drop plastic jugs, garbage sacks, empty food containers, all the stuff men and women on the move leave behind while they hide and wait their chance to make an illegal foray into the land of the Big Store.
Members of the Three Percent – so-called because historians estimate that only about three percent of the population actually participated in the American Revolution as it surged and raged around the colonial population – have volunteered to clear away trash at known trafficking sites, then wait to see who comes their way, looking for signs of new deposits of the cruddy stuff people on the move leave behind.
Members of an “unorganized militia” that the Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms in a God-given effort to defend themselves, their families and businesses – and their nation -they have no real legal authority to patrol the border. The Governor will never write an “SOP” authorizing them serve in that capacity. That’s reserved for the National Guard, or the Texas Militia, the Border Patrol, ICE and DEA agents.
But they do have the human right secured by the First Amendment to associate with whom they choose, and they choose to befriend property owners and managers who need someone to help clean up the garbage and trash the “surge” of illegal immigrants leave behind on a daily basis in places shared with the water fowl, the ocelot, the snake, falcon, tortoise, rabbit and rat that inhabit this rich riparian habitat, the place the real estate hustlers call the land of “two summers.”
That’s why the trio of irregular soldiers went to see a man known as “Mr. Aguilar” after “Archie” met him drinking coffee at the Stripes filling station near the border road that skirts the big river, to talk about cleaning up the garbage. Their names – nom de guerres that trip off the tongue like something out of a Louis Lamour paperback – are unknown to non-hackers. The folks at “Camp Lone Star” call them “KC, Wolf, and Jesus.”
Mr. Aguilar is the caretaker of one of the numerous wildlife refuges that line the river, so designated to help protect the environment from the ravages of artificial barriers and fences, the kind of stuff that fouls up the natural ecology. He needs help, and he invited them to come to work at his operation, where they cleared away garbage and trash last Wednesday evening at three heavily trafficked locations. And then, they settled down to wait.
As the shadows grew longer and the dove came in to roost, according to a statement released by the Camp Commander, a man who signs documents as K.C. Massey, they ran into a Border Patrolman walking along the river road. They asked if they could help, and he said yes, that his team was “pushing” illegals into the area, chasing them. They took positions in the brush about 75 yards apart, and it wasn’t long before they heard voices.
KC’s report says he both saw and heard an heavily tattooed man whistling and calling to his companions to come ahead. “My first impression was, it was the cartel flexing their might to attempt to intimidate us as they had done previously to BP.”
That’s when things grew hectic. The agents gave chase, but the aliens and coyotes gave them the slip, and when a Border Patrolman turned around, he saw Jesus standing in the road behind him, armed with an AK-47 pistol.
KC heard five shots ring out. He and Wolf came running, and when they got there, they found the Border Patrol supervisor with Jesus’ confiscated weapon, a shocked and embarrassed agent walking behind him, his features gone white from the stress involved.
The agent in charge told them that his man, rattled and excited, fired without warning. He said it was time to investigate, and asked if he could “secure” their weapons in the government vehicle. The trio gave them their sidearms and rifles, and surrendered a video camera for safe keeping.
The investigation was extensive. They waited the better part of an hour for a team of investigators from the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office to arrive. The lawmen checked to make sure the firearms were not stolen, checked the volunteers’ identification and determined they were not wanted men, that they had legal authority to carry firearms.
They detained them for five hours.
When they told the they were free to go, they returned their identification, but put their weapons and their video camera in a police car to take back to headquarters.
“…I was informed they were ‘Part of the investigation’ into the discharge of a weapon by a federal agent…” Massey wrote.
He protested. They hadn’t done anything wrong, he told them. They had proven that by standing by in all apparent docility. They can’t even prove what was confiscated. “I was not given an inventory list of the weapons being held…”
Come to the Sheriff’s Department on Monday, September 1, the Deputy Sergeant told them, if they want their guns returned.
From there, the stories diverge like the poet laureate Robert Frost’s fabled two paths in a yellow wood, and the road not taken.
“The statement reported by AP is completely false. We never identified ourselves as ‘Militia”; as a matter of fact, we all stated we are NOT Militia, just Concerned Patriotic American Citizen here to help protect and serve our fellow Americans being victimized by these illegals aliens and support the Border Patrol in the deterring of illegal incursions onto American soil,” according to Commander Massey.
Sheriff Omar Lucio told the Associated Press, “We really don’t need the militia here… It just creates a problem from my point of view, because we don’t know who they are.” He reminded the public that earlier during the month of August, Border Patrol agents were surprised when a group of seven armed men dressed in camouflage combat attire stepped out of the dark at a spot on the river near Mission, Texas, and helped round up illegals.
The government agents were shocked to learn they were ordinary citizen soldiers. They had assumed they were part of a Texas Department of Public Safety team deployed to the border by Governor Rick Perry.
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