Martha McSally's Border Security Bill Punishes Cartel Look-Outs

By Kate Sheehy
March 24, 2015

Arizona Representative Martha McSally has introduced a bill in Congress to deter look-outs who work to help cartels. The Congresswoman said it’s part of her pledge to tighten border security. 

The bill would apply tougher penalties for so-called “drug spotters” who position themselves to watch Border Patrol activity and pass along information to drug cartels in Mexico. Arizona Senator John McCain has partnered with McSally on the legislation called "The Transnational Criminal Organization Illicit Spotter Prevention and Elimination Act." 

The Congresswoman said she has heard from border residents who are frustrated with the lack of consequences for this activity.

"Stricter penalties will prevent experienced spotters who are caught from quickly returning to action and deter many others from joining a criminal cartel operation, degrading their ability to circumvent our border controls," McSally said in a statement.

Since last year, inland Pinal County has carried out stings on these look-outs as part of the West Desert Task Force, a joint effort with federal law enforcement. The Sheriff’s office said the majority of individuals were charged with conspiracy to possess marijuana for sale, a class 3 felony and two and half years in the state department of corrections.

McCain and McSally said their proposed legislation would impose a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and increase fines.