Published September 17, 2004
LOS ANGELES – Human smugglers growing frustrated with increased border enforcement are taking it out on border patrol officers (search).
As Washington throws more resources at sealing the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico, determined smugglers and illegal immigrants (search) are creating an increasingly dangerous situation for those who patrol the border.
In fact, agents call the area they watch a war zone. The daily exodus from Mexico tops more than 1,300 illegal immigrants a day in the Tucson, Ariz., area alone -- and those who are charged with stopping the illegals are being assaulted more and more.
"I had an M-80 tossed at me, right by my truck, wrapped in paper," said Border Patrol agent Mark Jarman. "I did not know what it was until I picked it up. I went deaf for about 30 seconds."
Agent Cory Runyon had similar encounters.
"I personally had things thrown at me on the highway. Going down the road, blankets thrown, boxes thrown, tires kicked out the back of cars rolling down [the] highway coming at me. Everything you can think of," he said.
Some see the violence as a measure of success. Smugglers are facing more prosecutions, longer sentences, seizure of cars and assets, which may explain why illegal aliens and those that bring them across the border are more desperate than ever.
Click on the video box near the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' William LaJeunesse.