- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2007

An Ohio sheriff who billed the U.S. government last year for the cost of housing detained illegal aliens said yesterday he will seek compensation from the Mexican government for the cost of combating drugs coming into his county from south of the border.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones wants Mexican President Felipe Calderon to authorize the payment of $61,141 for what he called “fair compensation for reimbursement of costs and other related expenses for the most recent marijuana drug bust in Butler County.”

“It would be really nice if they pay, but I honestly don’t think they will,” Sheriff Jones said. “My real goal is to get their attention and make them want to do something about this. I am angered at all the problems I am forced to face and Butler County residents are forced to pay for.”

The most recent drug arrest in Butler County netted more than 50 pounds of Mexican marijuana and the arrest of seven persons suspected of trafficking. It was the largest drug arrest in two years and one of several in the area during a 10-day period.

Last week, Butler County deputies also arrested two illegal aliens accused of making phony identification cards and bringing prostitutes into the county. Investigators said the fraudulent cards were being supplied to women from Georgia, Illinois, Indiana and New York for prostitution in Butler County.

Last year, Sheriff Jones billed the Department of Homeland Security $125,000 for the cost of jailing illegal aliens arrested on criminal charges in his county, saying he was angry that the federal government had failed in its responsibility to keep illegals out of the United States.

The bill was never paid. Although the sheriff told The Washington Times that the U.S. government may not be legally obligated, he intended to send similar notices until the federal government gained control of the border.

“Why should Butler County taxpayers have to pay for jail costs associated with people we don’t believe should ever have been in this country to begin with, let alone this state or county?” Sheriff Jones said. “They are in my jail because they have committed crimes here and it’s time the federal government should at least pay for the criminals they let stay here.

“If they don’t want to pay for them, then they can deport them,” he said.

Sheriff Jones blamed the Bush administration, Congress and the Mexican government for failing to address the overall problem of immigration, adding that taxpayers are “fed up with this stuff.”

“As the local sheriff, I keep my ear to the ground and I hear what the people are saying. I have the bully pulpit and my constituents don’t, so I am determined to speak for them,” he said. “This is not rocket science. I intend to continue to bring this problem to the attention of anyone who will listen. There is little else I can do unless and until the system is changed.”

The sheriff also noted that recent immigration reform legislation in Washington made no mention of holding Mexico responsible for failing to secure its side of the border. He said Mexico appears to be “doing little or nothing to stop anyone” from crossing into the United States illegally.

In the meantime, Sheriff Jones’ office has been approved for a federal program that provides local authorities with immigration-enforcement powers. The program will allow deputies to detain illegal aliens they encounter through arrests for other crimes or investigation.

“We can’t get it soon enough,” he said. “This basically gives us the authority to enforce immigration laws. We’ve been begging for it.”

Butler County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Richard K. Jones, noting the recent seizure of Mexican marijuana, said, “I am angered at all the problems I am forced to face and Butler County residents are forced to pay for.”

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