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Ariz. sheriff warns of cartel gunfire in wilderness

Cartel assassins have been ambushing rivals and stealing drugs and money

Associated Press

FLORENCE, Ariz. — An Arizona sheriff has warned holiday hikers and campers to beware of cartel assassins who have been ambushing rivals and stealing drugs and money.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu recommends that anyone using backroads, campsites or trails in an area south of the county be extra cautious and consider carrying a firearm.

Babeu, who is running as a Republican for an open seat in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, says no civilians have been hurt.

The federal Bureau of Land Management oversees two national monuments with portions in southwestern Pinal County, north of the Mexico border.

BLM spokesman Adam Milnor says criminal activity in the area ebbs and flows and activity is now in the higher range.

Milnor wouldn’t discuss Babeu’s comment that people consider carrying guns.

He says the agency recommends that people going into the wilderness be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity to authorities.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press