Sheriff Babeu: Cartel Showdown in Arizona Desert Imminent

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, never shy in voicing his opinion about the threat of armed drug runners and border violence, is now saying that a showdown with the cartels is just around the corner.

He's not talking in figurative terms, he means an actual physical showdown in the desert, a gun battle if the drug runners don't surrender.

Babeu says his department is shutting down the well-known drug corridor, which leads from the border into the heart of our state.

That 360-mile stretch may or may not be secure, depending on who you ask.

"All the illegals and drugs overwhelmingly are funneled right through Pinal County," says Babeu.

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Sheriff Paul Babeu is often in the spotlight for his outspoken stance on what he calls an ineffective federal government whose inaction is endangering people in Pinal County, 70 miles or so removed from the border.

As he told FOX 10, a showdown with heavily armed drug cartels will happen soon, as drug violence in Mexico, that's claimed 30,000 lives in recent years, spills over into the states.

"We're going out to directly meet these cartels. We're saying this is coming through our county and we've had enough."

Earlier this week, homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano touted the Obama administration's efforts to secure the border.

Napolitano said: "It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control… this statement, often made only to score political points, is just plain wrong."

"She's in some trance," says Babeu. "And the only talking points she has is 'the border is more secure than it ever has been,' and the other thing is 'unprecedented resources have been added.'"

The sheriff has recently purchased 130 new semi automatic rifles and night vision goggles. In Pinal County, they're holding an offensive position to counter the members of the cartel and the bandits looking to steal drugs in the desert.

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