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BOLO Report: Something to Take Away from the Recent Gunfights

A short Op-Ed from BOLO Report on some recent border security issues that haven’t gotten much attention in the press. Apparently Herman Cain’s alleged philandering and the prosecution of Michael Jackson’s doctor is more important than the murder, rape and appalling violence now happening on both sides of the border. There is an interesting related note here. 

As you may recall we ran a story about the shootout between Harris County Sheriff and other LEOs in the local DTF (Drug Task Force) and/or HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) and alleged Zeta gunmen in Houston. Though details are of course sketchy and remain unclear, a couple of compelling and potentially dangerous points have become clear.

1. At least one DTF member was engaged by a responding deputy and wounded. The former was in civilian attire and undercover. The latter was rolling up on a gunfight in progress with numerous long guns employed, observed a man with a weapon, challenged and shot him. Obviously there are several problems here with no easy answers. A marked officer can’t very well work undercover. OPSEC and COMSEC will prevent the HIDTA or DTF from communicating routes and operations to the LEOs on the street. It is unknown whether the DTF agent had any sort of flip panel, chain badge or other “ready” identification, but the number of fratricidal shootings we’ve seen even in high stress training scenarios make it clear that under stress such measures don’t always work. Again, no easy answer there, but our training officers and tactical supervisors need to be looking at it (without casting any blame or Monday morning quarterbacking). Enough of us are killed in the line of duty by suspects: we don’t need to do it to each other, but there are very realistic constraints that make this an extremely difficult problem to resolve.

2. The four individuals taken into custody were all sporting short, military style haircuts and no visible tattoos. More than one of our contacts in the counter-drug community have remarked on the fact that these four did not immediately look like some of the Zeta shooters that have been killed or captured south of the border. This may mean a lot or nothing, but it’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence.

STRATFOR released a short video on it, and several news agencies in the area have offered some more insight.

Hell on Earth

Borderland beat: more spillover on US soil not widely covered by the media. Did you know a Hidalgo County Sheriff Deputy was shot three times before this gunfight in Houston?

The official report on border violence compiled for the Texas Dept. of Agriculture remains inaccessible at this time on official websites. We’ll put links up if that is rectified. If not we will post it ourselves.

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One Response to “BOLO Report: Something to Take Away from the Recent Gunfights”

  1. ME says:

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110601-protective-intelligence-lessons-ambush-mexico

    Regarding point 2, this STRATFOR report adds a bit more perspective.