DRUG SMUGGLERS OPEN FIRE ON LONE DEPUTY
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 1, 2010) — A Deputy Sheriff attempting to stop five men transporting marijuana was wounded by a gunshot to the stomach yesterday afternoon.
He was able to contact the authorities following the incident. An hour-long search ensued for his whereabouts, and he was then taken to Casa Grande Regional Medical Center for treatment.
The deputy reported that an illegal immigrant had shot him with an AK-47 rifle.
While the shooting occurred in Pinal County, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio dispatched a SWAT team and helicopter to locate the wounded deputy and went himself to assist in the investigation of the incident. A spokesman for the Pinal Sheriff’s Department stated that drug smuggling has been on the rise and that the smugglers are coming through his county on the way to Maricopa County.
The deputy, today identified as 53-year-old Louie Puroll, had been on duty patrolling in an area approximately 50 miles south of Phoenix when a member of a group of suspected drug traffickers shot him. According to The Arizona Republic, the area “is considered a high-traffic drug- and human-smuggling corridor.” Reportedly, helicopters dispatched to search for the drug dealers were also the target of gunfire.
Governor Jan Brewer made a statement on the incident: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Pinal County Deputy shot during a stop. Contrary to what some leaders say, our borders are not secure.”
Arizona has been the object of much criticism for having passed a law last week requiring law enforcement to verify the status of anyone suspected of being an illegal alien. Reportedly, one county sheriff is refusing to enforce the new law.