- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2005

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. — Several hundred illegal aliens are holed up in the canyons of the Coronado National Memorial here, six miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, unable to meet up with smugglers because of ongoing patrols by Minuteman Project volunteers.

Cindy Kolb, who has lived in the area for the past six years, yesterday told The Washington Times that she saw about 300 aliens “huddled in the brush” near her home, waiting to come down the wide, brush-covered washes that cross State Highway 92 to be picked up in vans and trucks headed north.

“They’re hiding in the bushes, waiting to hook up with the smugglers in the very same area that our children wait for the school bus,” said Mrs. Kolb, who waits with her daughter daily, armed with a pistol holstered on her ankle.

“Maybe President Bush doesn’t care about this, but many of us do,” she said.

Her comments came as the U.S. Border Patrol rounded up about 30 illegal aliens, who had been spotted and reported by the Minuteman volunteers, on the shoulder of Highway 92 near her home.

Mrs. Kolb stood on the highway and applauded the agents and the Minuteman volunteers as the aliens were loaded into a Border Patrol truck.

“Thank you, Border Patrol. Thank you, Minuteman volunteers,” she shouted across the roadway, jumping with both hands in the air.

The Coronado National Memorial is a favorite corridor for alien and drug smugglers, who bring their cargoes over the mountains — some ranging as high as 9,400 feet high — from Mexico and down the canyons and washes on the west side to make connections with northbound vehicles.

Law-enforcement authorities said many of the drug smugglers also have been stopped by the Minuteman volunteers, who have set up observation posts all along Highway 92 — focusing on the numerous deep washes and concrete culverts that cross the four-lane road.

One member of a civilian reconnaissance patrol team, who asked not to be identified, said that during a patrol in the Coronado mountains this week, he saw some drug smugglers bury their loads, waiting for the Minutemen’s departure, scheduled for April 30.

He said the drug smugglers had placed spotters in the mountains, armed with two-way radios to report on the Minuteman patrols. He also said the smugglers were trying to jam radio frequencies used by the Minuteman volunteers to contact each other and the Border Patrol.

“There’s no doubt that they’re waiting out the Minutemen,” he said.

Border Patrol officials here did not return calls yesterday for comment.

Chris Simcox, a Tombstone newspaper publisher and founder of the Civil Homeland Defense organization in Arizona, said, “One of the reasons we targeted that area was because of the numerous complaints from homeowners that illegal aliens were overrunning their property.

“Since our patrols began, we have received numerous letters, e-mails and personal comments from the residents, thanking us for being in the area,” he said.

Mr. Simcox said the alien smugglers “have to be under a lot of pressure” to move the migrants out of the canyons, because of a limited supply of food and water.

“I would expect to see large numbers of aliens being moved out of the canyons under the cover of darkness over the next several days,” he said. “But the Minuteman volunteers will be there to observe and report them to the Border Patrol.”

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