US Federal Agent Cautions Travelers Headed to Mexico


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

(The following information was issued to the National Association of Chiefs of Police.)

John A. Torres, special agent in charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Los Angeles Field Division, issued a statement on Monday cautioning college students planning on traveling to Mexico for spring break.

Special Agent Torres told the National Association of Chiefs of Police and other law-enforcement organizations that he is concerned about travelers’ personal safety and is cautioning them to avoid the temptation to bring firearms across the border.

Torres is troubled about the recent violence plaguing Mexico and is concerned about the safety of U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico, particularly college students making spring break trips to local border towns.

“I know that spring break is a rite of passage for many college students, however I would discourage traveling to places like Tijuana and Rosarito due to drug cartel violence affecting those areas,” said Torres.

“If they do decide to go, they should be sure and follow the information provided by the State Department in a recent Travel Alert,” added Torres. The cities of Tijuana and Rosarito are both popular destinations for San Diego area college students and have recently experienced violence perpetrated by drug cartels.

A recent State Department Travel Alert advises U.S. citizens going to Mexico to travel on main highways during daylight hours. Travelers are advised to stay in well known tourist areas of the cities and avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing may occur. Travelers should also avoid displaying expensive-looking jewelry and large amounts of cash.

Torres wants the public to know that ATF is actively working in partnership with local firearms dealers through its “Don’t Lie For The Other Guy” campaign to prevent the straw purchase of firearms.

A straw purchase is where a legal purchaser fills out the required paperwork to obtain a firearm and then gives that firearm to somebody that is not legally able to posses it. This type of scheme has been used by drug trafficking organizations and they have paid straw buyers as young as their late teens and early 20s to accomplish the purchases.

“I want potential straw buyers to be put on notice that ATF is currently dedicating large resources to investigate this criminal activity and any evidence of wrongdoing uncovered will be turned over to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution,” said Torres.

“I realize that in these tough economic times the promise of money by firearms traffickers may be tempting, but remember the old adage, ‘crime doesn’t pay,’” added Torres.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the former blog editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Recently, the editors at Examiner.com appointed him as their Law Enforcement Examiner. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for NewswithViews.com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 300 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. If you wish to receive Kouri’s emailed law enforcement and intelligence reports, write to him at COPmagazine@aol.com. Simply write “Free Subscription” on the subject line.

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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