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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.
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.
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.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
This is absolutely ridiculous and makes me sick!
I'd be setting bear traps...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This it Barnett ranch all throughout here.
LAVANDERA: Roger Barnett was on a self-appointed patrol, packing an assault rifle and a conviction that U.S. citizens need to take the problem of illegal immigration into their own hands.
R. MORALES: As soon as I asked him what his name was, that's when he went back to his truck, and reached underneath the -- his seat, and pulled out the -- the AR-15. It took him three tries to chamber that bullet. And, once he chambered that bullet, he says: My name, my name is f'ing Roger Barnett. And, if you don't get out of here, I am going to shoot you, I am going to kill you.
LAVANDERA: Barnett boasts of having captured 14,000 illegal immigrants in seven years on the 22,000 acres of U.S. border property he leases from Arizona.
ROGER BARNETT, RESIDENT OF ARIZONA: Nobody has ever been hurt or abused, but thousands have been turned over to the Border Patrol to be deported.
V. MORALES: He's just scary. He was just rally mad.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Did he have a gun? Did you see a gun?
V. MORALES: Yes, he had a -- a -- a gun.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): But the family held at gunpoint was born and raised in the United States. And, when local police wouldn't act, they joined with border activists, filing a civil lawsuit, hoping to stop Barnett's patrols and make an example of him.