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Texas Border Sheriff Blasts New Federal Drug Policy

A U.S. Border Patrol sits at the end of the border fence at Fort Hancock in Hudspeth County, Texas, Friday, March 26, 2010. (LM Otero/AP)
A U.S. Border Patrol sits at the end of the border fence at Fort Hancock in Hudspeth County, Texas, Friday, March 26, 2010. (LM Otero/AP)

Arvin West, the sheriff of Hudspeth County, Texas, is blasting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for declaring yesterday that federal prosecutors would no longer pursue harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenders.

He says federal border patrol agents in his border county are arresting but not prosecuting more and more minor drug offenders and he’s left with having to house them in the county jail — sometimes for months.

“When these people come through these federal checkpoints, they’re committing not only a federal crime, but a state crime — especially in Texas,” West told Here & Now. “And that dumps back on us when the federal government refuses prosecution or refuses to adopt the case. And we’ve taken that oath to do our job seriously down here.”

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