Senate committee Oks $5M to fight drug smugglers

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A Senate committee approved a bill that would give an Arizona county $5 million to fight drug smugglers.

The border security committee approved the measure 5-1 after a lengthy presentation from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Babeu told the committee that the money would go toward equipment that would help his deputies fight against drug smuggling, including ground-based radar and rifles.

The five Republicans on the committee approved the bill, with Democrat Steve Gallardo voting against it after committee chairwoman Sen. Sylvia Allen declined to allow him to discuss it.

Gallardo says he didn't feel comfortable giving $5 million to one county amid the state's budget crisis without lengthy discussion.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.