OTR Interviews

U.S. Marshalls Outgunned at the Border

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: We're live in Phoenix, Arizona. And it is the no secret some of the most deadliest violence in the world has jumped across the Arizona border in Mexico, and it is a constant fight to stop that violence from bleeding into the United States.

United States Marshal David Gonzalez faces the violence everyday with his team. Good evening sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: It is beautiful, a little toasty, but beautiful. These are weapons used by the drug cartels, right?

GONZALEZ: These are standard weapons used by cartels, ATF and other state and local agencies on a daily basis, purchased primarily in the United States, which is a huge problem, because, as you know, we have drugs and money going south and people and dope coming north.

And dealing with those two issues creates a lot of violence and issues throughout the country.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is extraordinary the amount of firepower. We've been to Mexico. What we've heard is the firepower of the drug cartel exceeds what we give our ATF for instance. We don't have necessarily the same firepower we use back at them.

GONZALEZ: There's no question. U.S. law enforcement, state and local U.S. law enforcement, and Mexican law enforcement, you cannot compete with firepower like this, no way.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you need? If President Obama were watching tonight and the head of the marshal service in Washington, what can help you?

GONZALEZ: It is a very complicated process. You have intertwined drug smuggling and human smuggling. And when you have that much money involved it is very difficult to take head-on.

But I think if there was something we could do as a country to help stem the tide of a lot of these issues, I think we need to really concentrate on where the primary issues are, in this case, guns going south and money going south, identify who the main players are in these organizes and take them out, similar to what happened in Colombia.

And that is why we are dealing with the situations we are dealing with this Arizona, because the Mexican cartels took over for the Colombian cartels who were split up and the Mexican cartels have become so strong and so wealthy that to deal with them we need to break up those cartels so we can manage them.

So I think that is our primary responsibility and an issue we need to deal with.

VAN SUSTEREN: Since you are on the border this gets pushed in this state's face every single day, the risk, the scare.

The thing I thought was extraordinary, the one that catches my attention is the former rangers, the Mexican army that have gone rogue. They are special forces. And they are so well trained and so violent, and they went rogue. There's almost no way to stop them.

GONZALEZ: There are seven main cartels. The Zeta's started off as enforcers and then became a cartel. But just 180 miles from where we stand now, that area is controlled by a federation of cartels. And that is called "the federation." It's a group of two or three different cartels that have formed to control the distribution routes.

And this is what all the violence is about in Mexico now bleeding over into the U.S. It is control of lucrative drug and human smuggling distribution routes. That is the bottom line.

VAN SUSTEREN: We have the drug smuggling, gun smuggling, and violence. But the human trafficking is terrible too.

GONZALEZ: Phoenix is number two in kidnapping in the United States. Number one is Mexico City. Arizona, the Phoenix area here has five million people and Mexico city about 25 million, and we're number two in the world we it comes to kidnapping, and that's all connected to human smuggling which is connected to the money. That seems to be the root.

VAN SUSTEREN: It seems as though, until recently, that people have not listened to Arizona, that people have not listened as to how big a problem it is here. Is that your sense, that fallen a little off the radar screen for other issues?

GONZALEZ: It has been frustrating being a law enforcement officer here. I think that's why 1070 was passed. I think there was a lot of frustration that more needed to be done on our border.

We have 365 miles of border with Mexico, and it is the busiest sector in the country. And 48 percent of all illegal immigrants that come into the U.S. come through the Tucson sector. About 48 percent also of all drugs that come into the U.S., like marijuana, come in through the Tucson sector. And they are all controlled by the Mexican cartels.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't mean to be gruesome, but the article that sticks with me they are trying to intimidate people in a club, they beheaded five people and rolled the heads across the dance floor, or where they opened up the chest and take the hearts out. The violence, it's like a horror movie.

GONZALEZ: Exactly. And the 12 policemen killed yesterday --

VAN SUSTEREN: I forgot the 12 policemen yesterday.

GONZALEZ: Greta, that's to send a message to the locals, to the government that they are here to stay, and they are not intimidated. And we're here to the very end. You are not going to scare us off. So we are in for a long battle.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many deputies you have?

GONZALEZ: In Arizona about 220 deputies. Working fugitives, sex offenders work closely with the Mexican government bringing fugitives out of Mexico, which is a huge problem because a lot of fugitives wanted in the U.S. flee to Mexico we work closely with the Mexican government to get our fugitives out of there.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know your deputies are tough, but I hate to them put at risk.

GONZALEZ: When you to deal with this, what can you do?

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, marshal.

GONZALEZ: Thank you.

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