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Stories by Brandon Ross

High-tech drug tunnel bust unlikely to dissuade smugglers

Despite the discovery of a sophisticated border tunnel near Yuma a month ago, officials said the Sinaloa drug cartel may turn to tunnels even more often now to avoid detection as surface border security tightens.... Read more»1

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Officials: High-tech border tunnels take money, time and engineering

Drug tunnels are not a new problem on the border, but authorities say the number of sophisticated tunnels may be. Since November 2010, authorities have seized four tunnels into San Diego, and in July, the DEA found a 240-yard tunnel near Yuma.... Read more»0

Steep decline in ‘drop houses’ used by human smugglers

Police seizures of drop houses, where smugglers stash undocumented aliens en route to other parts of the country, have plummeted in Arizona this year.... Read more»0

Large solar, wind projects close to federal green light

Federal officials said Tuesday that they are on track to decide by early next year whether two new utility-scale renewable-energy projects – one wind, one solar – can move forward in Arizona.... Read more»0

'Official English' pushed in Congress

Rep. John Conyers didn’t speak a word of English at Thursday’s hearing on a bill to make English the official language of the nation, but he still made his opinion of the bill crystal clear.... Read more»0

House can’t muster votes to pass Franks bill limiting D.C. abortions

A bill by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, to ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass the House on Tuesday.... Read more»0

Feds spotlight 2 Az sites for solar projects

The federal government identified two sites in Arizona Tuesday as hot spots for solar energy, part of a larger plan to spur development of utility-scale solar projects in six Western states. The Arizona sites cover just under 6,000 acres and have the potential to generate 663 megawatts of electricity,... Read more»0

House committee approves Franks bill to limit abortions in Washington

The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, to ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.... Read more»0

Police take wait-and-see stance after immigration pact ends

Arizona police agencies said the loss of 287(g) state-federal partnerships might not be the critical blow to immigration law enforcement that some had feared.... Read more»0

John S. Leonardo

Senate confirms former Pima judge as U.S. attorney for Az

The full U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed former Pima County Superior Court Judge John S. Leonardo to be the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Leonardo will fill the federal prosecutor’s job held by former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August during the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.... Read more»0

Az could tie execution record in 2012—pace likely to continue

When prison officials pronounced convicted killer Samuel Lopez dead from a lethal injection at 10:37 a.m. Wednesday, it was the fourth execution in Arizona in the first six months of 2012. At that pace, the state could be on track to match its record of seven executions in a single year.... Read more»0

Court rules minority biz program did not harm non-minority contractor

Arizona Department of Transportation affirmative action program was not the reason a non-minority Tempe contractor could not get work with the state, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.... Read more»1

Marquez nomination to federal judgeship stalled after year

President Barack Obama nominated Rosemary Marquez to a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for Arizona on June 23, 2011. One year later, the nomination has not moved an inch. ... Read more»0

Former Pima County judge closer to becoming U.S. attorney

A Senate committee Thursday gave preliminary approval to former Pima County Superior Court Judge John S. Leonardo’s nomination to be the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona.... Read more»0

Court: Border Patrol bosses can't be sued for agents’ actions

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Border Patrol supervisors cannot be sued for the actions of subordinates who routinely stopped vans “based principally on ‘the Latin, Hispanic or Mexican appearance’” of their occupants.... Read more»0

New law could slow smuggling through border tunnels

The Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012, signed into law last week by President Barack Obama, makes it a criminal offense for property owners to build, finance or let others build border tunnels on their property.... Read more»0

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