Mexican cattle crossing into Arizona cannot be traced once they enter the U.S. The cattle should be traceable all the way to the slaughterhouse. It is a question of disease. The sale, movement and slaughter of untraceable cattle are a means to smuggle drugs and a way for the Mexican cartels to launder money. Pictured: Cattle are brought through a gate in the border fence from Mexico into the United States on December 9, 2014 in Nogales, Arizona. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
When was the last time you wondered if your food was safe to eat? Sure, in the dystopian weirdness of 2020 "COVID world" – people enjoy "contactless delivery" and online shopping for groceries – but did you really question if your ground beef was contaminated? Get ready to do so. It is the most under-reported story you have never heard of.
There is an increasing food security threat to the beef industry and the American people. That threat is part of a mosaic of corruption and criminality involving modern-day cattle rustling, Mexican cartel drug smuggling and money laundering. All told, hundreds of millions of dollars are in play. A number of corrupt officials along the way facilitate the transactions and perpetuate our 50+ year-long "War on Drugs" that we can never quite seem to win. The public corruption angle to this story is the subject of a current, ongoing investigation by Judicial Watch.
In Arizona, state law enforcement and agriculture inspections at cattle crossing points at the Mexican border are a thing of the past. Federal Customs Officers are not agriculture, veterinary or firebrand inspectors. Mexican cattle crossing into Arizona cannot be traced once they enter the U.S. The cattle should be traceable all the way to the slaughterhouse. It is a question of disease. The sale, movement and slaughter of untraceable cattle are a means to smuggle drugs and a way for the Mexican cartels to launder money.
Drugs are hidden inside cattle. One's imagination is probably sufficient to explain the smuggler's technique. The money laundering part of the enterprise has to do with the cartel's use of drug money to purchase cattle and a financial interest in a "legitimate" cattle brokerage or business that gives them access to a means to "clean" their money through US banks. Rather than provide a detailed money laundering tutorial here (supporting the operations of a criminal enterprise) you can watch the popular Netflix television series, "Ozark."
Cattle rustling seems as if it should be something from the era of black-and-white western movies. Unfortunately, it is alive and well today. In the past, rustlers were brought to justice by law enforcement, who were usually assisted by the rancher suffering the loss. The application, recording, and ownership of firebrands was designed to help alleviate the questions of ownership and provided the ability for individuals to be prosecuted for stealing cattle across the west. Not anymore. Ranchers across the state of Arizona are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of importance placed upon cattle theft. Loss of cattle to theft creates financial ruin for ranchers and threatens the disruption of an American food source.
You may be thinking (correctly) – "Hey, wait a minute! We have these threats to the cattle industry, our food supply – and then the cartels smuggling drugs in cattle and laundering money UNDER A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION?" Yes, we do. Now imagine what the "open borders" advocates within the Biden administration will demand in the way of public policy. Last week, I detailed the policy changes a Biden administration would implement on the security and immigration controls for the border with Mexico. I also described the impact those changes would have on ordinary Americans living in border communities – as well as broader national security and crime issues. The two most obvious and immediate changes will be: 1. Termination of President Trump's signature 2016 campaign issue -- The Wall; and 2. Loosening of immigration restrictions.
A less secure border and national policies that lower our guard to all manner of border-related security measures -- from agriculture and livestock to banking transactions -- makes the United States less secure and places the general public at risk.
Chris Farrell is a former counterintelligence case officer. For the past 20 years, he has served as the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch. The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.