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KENTUCKYREDBONE 02-11-2009 02:45 AM

The fact that he's being sued over this angers me!
Monday, February 9, 2009
16 illegals sue Arizona rancher
Jerry Seper (Contact)
An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.

His Cross Rail Ranch near Douglas, Ariz., is known by federal and county law enforcement authorities as "the avenue of choice" for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.

Trial continues Monday in the federal lawsuit, which seeks $32 million in actual and punitive damages for civil rights violations, the infliction of emotional distress and other crimes. Also named are Mr. Barnett's wife, Barbara, his brother, Donald, and Larry Dever, sheriff in Cochise County, Ariz., where the Barnetts live. The civil trial is expected to continue until Friday.

The lawsuit is based on a March 7, 2004, incident in a dry wash on the 22,000-acre ranch, when he approached a group of illegal immigrants while carrying a gun and accompanied by a large dog.

Attorneys for the immigrants - five women and 11 men who were trying to cross illegally into the United States - have accused Mr. Barnett of holding the group captive at gunpoint, threatening to turn his dog loose on them and saying he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

The immigrants are represented at trial by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which also charged that Sheriff Dever did nothing to prevent Mr. Barnett from holding their clients at "gunpoint, yelling obscenities at them and kicking one of the women."

In the lawsuit, MALDEF said Mr. Barnett approached the group as the immigrants moved through his property, and that he was carrying a pistol and threatening them in English and Spanish. At one point, it said, Mr. Barnett's dog barked at several of the women and he yelled at them in Spanish, "My dog is hungry and he's hungry for buttocks."

The lawsuit said he then called his wife and two Border Patrol agents arrived at the site. It also said Mr. Barnett acknowledged that he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

In March, U.S. District Judge John Roll rejected a motion by Mr. Barnett to have the charges dropped, ruling there was sufficient evidence to allow the matter to be presented to a jury. Mr. Barnett's attorney, David Hardy, had argued that illegal immigrants did not have the same rights as U.S. citizens.

Mr. Barnett told The Washington Times in a 2002 interview that he began rounding up illegal immigrants after they started to vandalize his property, northeast of Douglas along Arizona Highway 80. He said the immigrants tore up water pumps, killed calves, destroyed fences and gates, stole trucks and broke into his home.

Some of his cattle died from ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by the immigrants, he said, adding that he installed a faucet on an 8,000-gallon water tank so the immigrants would stop damaging the tank to get water.

Mr. Barnett said some of the ranch´s established immigrant trails were littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty 1-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil - which supposedly is used to pack the drugs the immigrant smugglers give their "clients" to keep them running.

He said he carried a pistol during his searches for the immigrants and had a rifle in his truck "for protection" against immigrant and drug smugglers, who often are armed.

A former Cochise County sheriff´s deputy who later was successful in the towing and propane business, Mr. Barnett spent $30,000 on electronic sensors, which he has hidden along established trails on his ranch. He searches the ranch for illegal immigrants in a pickup truck, dressed in a green shirt and camouflage hat, with his handgun and rifle, high-powered binoculars and a walkie-talkie.

His sprawling ranch became an illegal-immigration highway when the Border Patrol diverted its attention to several border towns in an effort to take control of the established ports of entry. That effort moved the illegal immigrants to the remote areas of the border, including the Cross Rail Ranch.

"This is my land. I´m the victim here," Mr. Barnett said. "When someone´s home and loved ones are in jeopardy and the government seemingly can´t do anything about it, I feel justified in taking matters into my own hands. And I always watch my back."

NateR 02-11-2009 02:51 AM

Yeah, this is ridiculous. They were entering the country ILLEGALLY and TRESPASSING on this man's land. This Arizona man is a victim, not a criminal.

This kind of thing really angers me as well.

Bonnie 02-11-2009 02:59 AM

Well, I'd like to say I think the United States government and justice system will come out on the side of the American, but sadly, after what has happened to those two border patrol guards (yeah, I know, their sentences were "commuted" by Bush--pathetic and disgraceful!!!) I don't hold out much hope for that rancher. :angry:

Deerstabber 02-11-2009 03:01 AM

What the hell is this country coming too. I think there lucky he wasn't using them for target practice.

NateR 02-11-2009 03:10 AM

If this Arizona landowner loses this case, then I guess we'll need to redefine burglary to mean "when a greedy homeowner refuses to share his wealth with you."

rearnakedchoke 02-11-2009 03:16 AM

There are plenty of frivolous lawsuits out there, so this isn't surprising .... the problem isn't the immigrants entering illegally, it is the people that are giving them the jobs in the first place .... this landowner, win or lose this suit should file a lawsuit against the people that are giving these people jobs

Bonnie 02-11-2009 03:19 AM


Originally Posted by NateR
Yeah, this is ridiculous. They were entering the country ILLEGALLY and TRESPASSING on this man's land. This Arizona man is a victim, not a criminal.

This kind of thing really angers me as well.

Nathan, do you know they (I don't know if it was the state of Texas or the U.S. gov't) actually gave that illegal drug runner a "pass" to go back and forth from Mexico into the U.S. while they sent those two TX border patrol agents to prison. I still don't understand why the TX Attorney General (I think it was him) pursued those agents the way he did when they were doing their job. Sometimes I can't help but think that something fishy is up with our government and these southern states not seeming to "want" to protect our borders against these illegals and drug criminals. I love my country, but the decisions that are being made regarding our citizens is outrageous!

Llamafighter 02-11-2009 03:21 AM

Next time he'll have to get all "Young Guns" and regulate em!
This case should be laughed out of court and the prosecuter disbarred

J.B. 02-11-2009 03:27 AM

I think the argument of "civil rights violations" is just ridiculous. They are trespassing and he has the right to protect his land.

However, the other reports on this story have been that this guy has been accused in the past of assaulting people he was detaining, and supposedly he is a raging racist. Now, being a racist is not illegal, and of course he can and should protect his land, but kicking a woman while she is on the ground is just ridiculous.

He should have just called the border patrol and let them handle it. I know the BP is understaffed, and I have been all over those dense southern regions of Arizona, and it's a tough area to monitor. BUT..he is actually pretty stupid to be out there trying to detain these people all by himself considering how many VERY dangerous people are crossing over all the time.

Spiritwalker 02-11-2009 03:38 AM


Originally Posted by NateR
Yeah, this is ridiculous. They were entering the country ILLEGALLY and TRESPASSING on this man's land. This Arizona man is a victim, not a criminal.

This kind of thing really angers me as well.

I don't call him "victim", I call him admirable. Hopefully a jury of his peers will nullify.

Unless he actually hurt them.. and even then.. I am not sure I would be too concerned.

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