Alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel shot at a drone operated by a private United States security firm at the Mexico-U.S. border, video footage appears to indicate.
Jaeson Jones, a border correspondent with right-wing cable news channel Newsmax, presented what he described as exclusive footage of the incident.
The Newsmax broadcast earlier this week introduced the footage with a graphic entitled “War At Our Doorstep,” with anchor Jenn Pellegrino beginning by saying, “Mexican cartels are at war with the U.S. government and the Biden Administration refuses to do anything about it.”
“What you are seeing is a Sinaloa Cartel base 300 meters inside Mexico from the U.S. border,” Jones told Pellegrino in an interview after the footage aired. “… These cartel members were literally shooting into the U.S. at this drone.”
The video shows what Jones called “Chapitos’ people” on the top of a “flat mountain,” as confirmed to him by one of the drone’s operators. Jones identified the drone operators as employees of an unnamed private security firm.
“Los Chapitos” is a nickname for the sons of imprisoned drug lord and former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán who are themselves alleged active cell leaders in the Sinaloa Cartel. One of these sons, Ovidio Guzmán, was arrested on January 5 by federal authorities, and has been charged with cartel-related illegal activities.
The footage shows men shooting in the direction of the drone. The drone had apparently crossed into Mexico from the United States.
“He’s going to shoot at me right now,” one of the drone operators says in the video. “Shots fired,” another person says.
There was no indication that the drone was actually hit by a bullet fired by the gunmen.
Jones, a former captain with the Texas Department of Public Safety who is described on his personal website as “a nationally recognized authority on the Mexican cartels,” told Pellegrino that the video “was shot by a private security firm trying to illuminate the crimes at the southwest border to the American people.”
“… Why are these [cartel] bases here?” he told Pellegrino. “Let me explain this a little bit. It’s very important because when you think of deadly fentanyl and methamphetamine pouring into this country, the Sinaloans want control of certain parts just on the Mexico side so that that way they can freely move deadly fentanyl into the country,” Jones said.
“That right there is ground zero for fentanyl into the Arizona area. Phoenix DEA in 2022 seized 25 million pills of the over 55 million pills seized nationwide,” Jones said.
“… We talk about immigration all the time, but when you see this video, you can see just how out of control our border has become,” he concluded.
According to his website, Jones is “the director/CEO of Omni Intelligence, a private company that strives to make the public and government agencies aware of the threats posed by unsecured borders and best practices to combat transnational crime.”
Jones didn’t say how he obtained the footage.