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News Scan

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Hundreds of Illegals Smuggled in just 3 Months:  Since the start of the 2016 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2015, over 200 illegal immigrants have been discovered in car trunks, tractor trailers or in other dangerous situations at the hands of Mexican cartels, in an attempt to evade inspection checkpoints in the Rio Grande Valley.  Ildefonso Ortiz of Breitbart reports that in 2014, a shift in human smuggling routes transformed the Rio Grande Valley into the main corridor used by the Gulf Cartel to smuggle thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America into Texas.  The U.S. Border Patrol says that the involvement of cartels in human smuggling and trafficking puts the lives of immigrants and the public in "extreme danger." 

Hundreds of DHS Badges, Guns, Cell Phones Lost or Stolen:  Inventory reports have exposed that, in the span of 31 months between 2012 and 2015, hundreds of badges, credentials, cell phones and guns belonging to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees have been lost or stolen.  Adam Shaw of Fox News reports that the information, obtained by a Colorado-based online news site via a Freedom of Information Act request, show that over 1,300 badges, 165 firearms and 589 cell phones were lost or stolen; most of the credentials belonged to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees, while lost or stolen guns mostly belonged to CBP as well.  The revelation raises serious concerns over national security and the danger posed to the U.S. if the missing items get into the wrong hands.

Traffickers Shipping Weed Out of CO:  Law enforcement officials say that illegal drug traffickers are exploiting Colorado's legal marijuana marketplace, growing weed among the state's sanctioned pot warehouses and farms before secretly shipping it to other states for significant profit.  The AP reports that in one case, the owner of a skydiving company made millions when he sold hundreds of pounds of Colorado pot in Minnesota after transporting it via his planes.  Another case involved a Denver man who sent more than 100 pot-filled FedEx packages to Buffalo, New York, where the shipment was divvied up among drug dealers and sold.  While tourists who buy retail pot and attempt to bring it to their out-of-state residences also adds to the problem, it's the larger-scale traffickers who move to the state specifically to grow the drug and ship it to more lucrative markets that is concerning authorities.  These cases confirm the fears by marijuana opponents that the state's "much-watched experiment in legal pot would invite more illegal trafficking to other states where the drug is strictly forbidden."

More People Murdered Last Year than in 2014:  Homicides rose nearly 17 percent in America's 50 largest cities last year, the greatest increase in lethal violence since 1990.  Max Ehrenfreund and Denise Lu of the Washington Post report that an analysis by Wonkblog of preliminary crime data found that approximately 770 more people were killed in major cities in 2015 than in 2014, marking the worst annual change in a quarter century and the first interruption in a steady decline in homicides.  Experts say it's too early to know what is to blame for the surge, whether it's the Ferguson effect, the exploding heroin epidemic, reduced police department budgets or soft-on-crime reforms that have led to the decline in less convicts behind bars.

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