Home > newsroom > Page
House Republican Warnings Ignored as Arizona Sheriff Deputy Shot by Drug Smugglers on Federal Wilderness Lands


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2010 - Only weeks after Republican Committee Ranking Members introduced legislation to ensure Border Patrol agents’ operational control of the border isn’t compromised by Department of Interior environmental policies, a shooting occurred on public lands near the border. On Friday, April 30, Pinal County Sheriff Deputy Louie Puroll was ambushed and shot by five drug smugglers in the Table Top Wilderness Area, federal land just south of Phoenix, Arizona. Puroll, on foot patrol for drug smugglers, was forced to abandon his vehicle as he entered Table Top due to the prohibition of motorized vehicles in Wilderness Areas.

This is the latest violent crime to occur on federal Wilderness areas along the U.S. border where Border Patrol is unable to effectively monitor the land due to environmental policies enforced by Department of Interior (DOI) land managers.

According to Bureau of Land Management sources there have been 11 shooting incidents in Table Top Wilderness Area in 2010. Action needs to be taken by the Department and Congress before another incident occurs.

House Republicans have repeatedly called upon Interior Secretary Salazar to work with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure Border Patrol has reasonable access to public lands and Wilderness Areas along the border.

Unfortunately, criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and potential terrorists have targeted public lands along our borders for illegal activities – making them unsafe for Border Patrol, law enforcement officers, land managers and Americans visiting their public lands. Ironically, the criminal actions on public lands lead to extreme environmental degradation of the land that DOI policies are supposed to be protecting.

Due to the inability of DOI to allow Border Patrol agents to have operational control of the border, House Republicans introduced legislation (H.R. 5016) to ensure that DOI and USDA do not impede or restrict Border Patrol from effectively doing their to job to secure the border on public lands.

# # #

Print version of this document


Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202) 226-2311

Latest News

Bishop Statement on Hurricane Maria’s Impact on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement on Hurricane Maria’s impact on the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: "The residents...... Read more

Preserving an American Tradition: Maintaining Access and Increasing Opportunities on our Public Lands

OP-ED: Preserving an American Tradition: Maintaining Access and Increasing Opportunities on our Public Lands Congressman Rob Bishop Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources Sportsmen are the he...... Read more

Bishop Statement on Dan Love Employment Status

Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement on the employment status of Senior Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Manager Dan Love: “The previous administration turned a blind eye...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

Legislative Hearing on 3 Tribal Recognition Bills
Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs | 1334 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Exploring Solutions to Reduce Risks of Catastrophic Wildfire and Improve Resiliency of National Forests
Oversight and Investigations | 1334 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3400
| 1334 Longworth House Office Building
View All Events