American residents living on the US-Mexican border fear for their lives as packs of drug smugglers cross through their land on foot to transport illegal narcotics to America.
Rancher Jim Chilton and his wife Sue live on a 20,000-hectare property in Arizona. Forty kilometres of their land backs right up to the border.
“Three thousand drug packers are coming through my ranch every year,” Jim told Sunday Night reporter Mike Amor.
“Three thousand packing cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana.”
For protection, Jim and Sue arm themselves with guns. But they’ve also set up motion-sensor cameras to record the trails that have turned into drug smuggling highways.
“They are camo dressed, they are wearing what are called ‘carpet shoes’ that obscure their tracks and make it difficult to know their numbers from just observation of the ground,” Sue said.
Self-appointed vigilante Tim Foley also uses motion-detecting cameras to hunt the traffickers.
Some of the trails he monitors are being used multiple times a day.
“Usually a couple of times a week, but if it’s dope and the trail is good, you’ll see them every day. On some trails four different loads in four hours,” Tim said.
Tim shares his information about drug shipments and the trails the smugglers are using with local law enforcement.
But with properties that are often remote and a long way from help, Tim feels he is doing the best he can to protect himself and his country.
“You have a right if the government can’t protect you, then you can protect yourself and that is what we are doing.”
Both Tim and Jim are in favour of President Trump’s plan to build a bigger wall along the border to stop the flow of criminals and drugs from Mexico.
“It’s going to be difficult, but with Trump’s determination I think the wall’s going to be built and if it isn’t built I’m going to call you and tell everybody in Australia he’s a liar,” Jim said.