NOGALES, SONORA.- A rancher along the Mexico-US border said he’s seen a significant increase in drug smugglers — sometimes toting guns — crossing his land and has found bodies of migrants who died on his property trying to make it into the U.S.
“We’ve been here 35 years now, and it’s a wonderful ranch, except we are very ticked off that all these drug packers are coming to my ranch to poison our American people,” Jim Chilton, owner of the Chilton Ranch, told Fox News.
Part of Chilton’s property was protected by the border wall. He urged President Biden and Congress to finish construction in order to protect the country — and him and his wife. He said on one occasion, Chilton’s wife, Sue, was home alone and answered a knock on the door to MS-13 members carrying guns.
“It’s kind of scary,” Chilton, who comes from a long line of ranchers, told Fox News. “That’s just life on the border.”
Chilton said thousands of migrants crossed his property in 2022, marking a significant increase from years prior. He suspects many are carrying drugs.
On Monday, Arizona border officials in Nogales, around 30 miles from Chilton, seized around 776,000 fentanyl pills, 289 pounds of methamphetamine and 55 pounds of heroin, Customs, and Border Protection Nogales Port Director Michael Humphries tweeted. Nearly 15,000 pounds of fentanyl has been seized along the southern border this year, according to CBP.
Yet Chilton and his wife have still helped migrants on multiple occasions despite safety concerns as more knocked on their door for help.
“Nobody deserves to die in the desert,” regardless of whether they are criminals, Chilton said. “We try to help people by providing water, but all the bad guys come to our ranch.”
Chilton said he installed drinking fountains to serve migrants. Still, he’s found he’s had “a lot of people die on the ranch.”
Source: AZ Central