As Americans are finally realizing the danger of the Mexican cartels in light of the brutal murder of an American family 50 miles from our border, we should not forget that a California sheriff’s deputy was essentially killed by the cartels on our own soil. The murder of Brian Ishmael horribly shows that the cartels are not a Mexico problem, but a problem right here at home, caused by our failed border strategy, sanctuary cities, and the drug crisis. That few lawmakers have even heard of Brian Ishmael speaks volumes about the misplaced national security focus among the foreign policy elite.
El Dorado County is a beautiful, rural part of California in the heart of wine country. But thanks to a lack of border security, sanctuary state status, and recent pro-drug policies, this county is now a primary growing site for the Mexican cartels. Their contractors come in through our own border and are harbored by the pro-illegal alien policies of California.
“First I want to make something clear, and I ask that you, the media, please call this what this is … don’t soften it,” said El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini at a press conference on Thursday. “This tragedy was due to an illegal alien, tending an illegal marijuana garden, who murdered my deputy. That’s what it is.”
The sheriff was referring to the October 23 murder of Deputy Brian Ishmael, who was allegedly ambushed by Juan Carlos Vasquez, who was guarding a marijuana growing site for traffickers back in Mexico. Four men were arrested in connection with the murder, and two of them are illegal aliens. One other suspect, Jorge Lamas, said he was being paid $150 a day by someone in Mexico to supervise the growing site.
Remember, we were told that legalizing marijuana would put the cartels out of business. Yet legalization, mixed with illegal immigration and sanctuary cities, is creating the worst outcome of all – not only are the cartels still in business, they are now growing their poison on our own soil and guarding it with armed men they easily get over the border and ensure are protected by California’s illegal policies.
Christopher Ross, Juan Carlos Vasquez, Ramiro Morales, and Jorge Lamas have all been indicted in connection with the marijuana growing site where Deputy Ishmael was murdered. Ross was the owner of the property, who originally called the police claiming someone was stealing from his “legal” growing site. What he didn’t say was that it was an illegal growing site being worked by Mexican nationals for the cartels. One of them, Juan Vazquez, allegedly opened fire on Ishmael when he arrived, fatally striking him in the chest.
“When Ross called into 911, he said he had a legal marijuana operation,” said U.S. attorney McGregor Scott at the press conference when announcing the indictments yesterday. “Well guess what, it wasn’t a legal marijuana operation. So, the fig leaf of legalization gives cover for those who operate in the black market to do their business.”
But how do cartels so successfully peddle their business here? It’s all through illegal immigration. “If you allow criminally minded illegal aliens to infiltrate our communities with more protections than our average citizens, they will take advantage of that and victimize our communities,” said Sheriff D’Agostini angrily.
The 22-year-old Ramiro Morales and 20-year-old Juan Carlos Vasquez are illegal aliens from Mexico. Vasquez was charged with murder, while Morales was charged with being an accessory after the fact to Ishmael’s murder. Morales reportedly entered the country illegally about six months ago, during the height of the Central American wave.
As the sheriff noted, thanks to the sanctuary policies, he couldn’t even get federal authorities into the jail to confirm their immigration status when he suspected they were illegal aliens. This is how so many murders get reported as domestic crimes when they are really tied to the Mexican cartels. If not for the fact that this occurred in a more conservative part of the state with a sheriff who opposes this policy, the immigration status might never have been publicized.
Morales came over the border just six months ago. The media would like you to see lovely “future Americans” for whom we should pay health care and education. Yet so many murders in this country are caused by illegal aliens but are never traced back to the border.
President Trump must demand that sanctuaries be punished in the budget bill and stake out the election on this issue. Sanctuaries are so toxic that even 71 percent of Tucson residents, who voted for Hillary Clinton by a 25-point margin, opposed efforts to thwart ICE deportations. Rather than avoid a fight with Democrats headed into the election, Trump should embrace it. After all, nobody wants to import and protect Mexico’s narco-culture in their communities. If Trump wants to win back suburban voters, this is the issue on which he should go for broke.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.