It’s the kind of news story that usually comes out of Nuevo Leon or some other blood-soaked northern Mexican state. Only this happened in central North Carolina.
On April 8, a “popular” schoolteacher was killed in a shootout with Mexican drug cartel members as he was attempting to rob their operation in Alamance County, located between Raleigh-Durham and Greensboro. Barney Harris, a basketball coach and teacher, and his brother-in-law broke into a trailer and were surprised by an 18-year-old member of the cartel.
Here’s how WTVD-TV in Durham reported it:
“[Alamance County Sheriff Terry] Johnson said the men questioned [Alonso Beltran] Lara about the stash and when he didn’t give them the answers they wanted, they shot him in the head.
“‘And they were trying to find the money and drugs and apparently he didn’t give them the information to do that and he was technically close range, two bullets to the back of the head, he was executed,’ Johnson said.
“After the shooting, other cartel members showed up and gunfire erupted – killing Harris, who was found dead in a bedroom. No one else was injured but three other trailers were struck by bullets, Johnson said.
“The residents of those homes ‘were totally scared to death,’ he said.”
Sheriff Johnson’s reaction to the carnage speaks volumes as to how the Mexican cartels’ way of doing business is now in full bloom in the Tar Heel State. “I am still worried about some retaliation because the Mexican cartels, they don’t forget,” Johnson stated. “They are going to pay someone back, and that concerns me a great deal as sheriff of this county.”
Johnson has continued to call out the threat posed by the cartels’ growing influence in North Carolina in the days since the shootout. “I’ve been in law enforcement 50 years. And I’ve not seen anything like what I’ve seen in the last two years,” he said and the Greensboro News & Record reported April 18. “It’s become a problem of epidemic proportions here in North Carolina. And we’d better get a handle on it.”
The sheriff blamed the rise on “open Southern borders,” noted WTVD on April 14.
But here is an essential detail as indicated by the News & Record:
“The sheriff said his county has become a popular place for the drug cartels to do business, partly because it sits between two of North Carolina’s largest cities — Raleigh and Greensboro — and because Interstates 85 and 40 run through it. The county is about 36 miles west of Durham and 115 miles northeast of Charlotte.”
Caught Between ACLU Sheriffs
In December 2018, we reported on a newly cash-flush ACLU’s efforts to purchase local sheriffs in North Carolina via election financial support in order to keep their departments from working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport illegal aliens. Two of the sheriffs whose campaigns were aided by lavish ACLU ad buys are located in Wake County, which includes Raleigh, and Mecklenburg County, home to Charlotte.
In other words, Alamance County is smack in the middle of a vortex where local sheriffs are refusing to do anything about illegal immigration.
What’s more, the ACLU has constantly harassed the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office over any efforts to enforce immigration law itself. In 2017, the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU urged federal officials not to allow the sheriff to re-enter the Department of Homeland Security’s 287g program, which permits local law enforcement officials to work with ICE to get illegal aliens removed from the country. This is the program that newly minted Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden terminated in Charlotte as his first official act in office after the ACLU greased the wheels for his successful election campaign in 2018.
“In Fiscal Year 2018 the Mecklenburg County 287g program encountered 1,185 criminal aliens; [the] decision to end this law enforcement agreement leaves them to reoffend against the people of Mecklenburg County,” ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher warned in vain in December 2018. Now, a little more than two years later, Mexican drug cartels are on a rampage.
“We tend to view drugs as benign these days,” Charlotte lawyer Chris Swecker, “who spent much of his previous FBI career focused on drug cartels,” told the News & Record. “But these cartels, they cut off heads just to make a statement. They kidnap family members just to make a statement.”
“These are the most ruthless SOBs you could ever deal with. They’ll put you in a vat of lye. They’ll cut your tongue out, just to send a message. It’s worse than any war zone.”
And now they are running amok in America. Ain’t criminal justice reform grand?
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.