AG Goddard announces border crime teamPosted: Updated:
Officials in Arizona and Washington are working to combat organized crime and violence at the U.S.-Mexico border -- quickly. Attorney General Terry Goddard announced another plan to fight organized border crime.
There's a lot going on along the U.S. Mexico border. Things that mostly happen when the sun goes down. Things law enforcement and lawmakers in the U.S. and Mexico have yet to gain complete control of.
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is working hard to "fight" the enemy, or rather Mexican cartels. Four months ago he, along with Western Union settled a $94M lawsuit that helped fight money laundering. Now -- with the money still available -- Goddard has a new plan -- or rather a new team he announced Wednesday will conduct investigations into cartel operations and expand prosecution of border crime. "That's what I'm looking forward to is having the whole border -- 2,000 miles of border -- secure, not just individual patches of it," says Goddard.
In order to get to that point, Goddard has appointed former senior Pima County Prosecutor Richard Wintory to head the team. Goddard calls Wintory one of the most experienced border crime prosecutors in the country. Goddard met Tuesday with Mexican law enforcement about the new team. All know what they're up against. "The soldiers and the cartels don't do this work because they love it or because they're religious zealots. They do it because they're paid incredibly well."
The team was put in place to stop that payment. As U.S. defense to combat organized border crime grows stronger Goddard and his new border crime prosecution team are hopeful.
"We're gonna be able to make a whole lot more progress than we have before," says Goddard.
Attorney General Goddard did express gratitude to president Barack Obama for sending more troops to the border, but he feels the use of more troops may become problematic.