Search The Archives

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Veterans on Patrol Meeting With Tucson Police Department / City Council Ward 5


June 6, 2018

Veterans on Patrol founder Lewis Arthur met with Tucson Police Lieutenant Parker to review some key items from the CEMEX event that went viral on social media last weekend.  In typical VOP style, the meeting with TPD Lt. Parker was livestreamed via the VOP Facebook account.

During this meeting, Arthur made three specific requests of TPD;  the video footage of the cadavar dog(s) that went through the CEMEX site, the certifications of the cadaver dogs, as well proof of evidence processing by TPD or any law enforcement agency. 

On Sunday, June 3, social media was gripped by the hashtag #operationbackyardbrawl that was started by Veterans on Patrol after they entered into a peaceful standoff with Tucson Police and Arizona State Police.  The reason for the standoff was due to what VOP viewed as a lack of proper attention by local law enforcement of possible sex slave / human trafficking camps on the CEMEX Tucson property.  The site was initially observed by VOP around May 29th, at which time they notified Tucson Police.

According to Arthur, their initial findings on May 29th included what looked like some type of child trafficking due to a possible underground "jail cell" which was made from an old septic tank as well as what appeared to many as "rape trees" which were garnished with old fire hose and strapping materials.  This prompted VOP to contact law enforcement, however, due to the delay in response over the following several days, VOP then contacted an associate, Craig Sawyer, who is both a public advocate for children as well as a former United States Marine and Navy Seal.

Together, both Sawyer and Arthur concluded publicly that there was a strong possibility that the CEMEX site could be evidence of a large child trafficking operation.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Lt. Parker asserted that Tucson Police did have the evidence in custody that VOP turned over and are currently processing all of it.  Additionally, Lt. Parker asked a few times what physical evidence Arthur / VOP had that proves a crime has been committed on the CEMEX site.  Arthur was only able to cite circumstantially the appearance of the site was more than enough, but also stated VOP still has evidence it has not turned over due to what appears to be a lack of trust between himself and Tucson Police on this matter. 

Lt. Parker and Arthur met for around 45 minutes during which multiple items were discussed.  According to Lt. Parker, Tucson Police does have some concerns regarding how VOP performs its operations, and went on the record stating that there have been prior incidents where VOP did not act in an appropriate manner consistent with similar neighborhood watch programs;  according to Lt. Parker, VOP is to be operating no differently than fellow neighborhood watch programs.  Arthur stated that since TPD and other law enforcement agencies were not taking the matter of child trafficking seriously, VOP would be performing "patrols" in the desert areas along I-19 consisting of 5 unarmed / 1 armed personnel. 

Lt. Parker did state that the case at CEMEX is still technically "open" and a Detective has been assigned.  At this time, Tucson Police does not have any affidavits or statements by the experts that VOP has claimed reviewed the CEMEX site. 

This story is ongoing. - SA




Veterans on Patrol Meeting With Tucson Police Department - 6/6/2018

  1. VOP meeting with Tucson Police Team ONE (Lieutenant Parker).
  2. VOP is requesting Video of Cadaver dog going through CEMEX site.
  3. VOP is requesting cadaver dog certification.
  4. VOP is requesting proof of evidence processing since CEMEX destroyed site (bulldozed).
  5. According to TPD, the Cadaver dogs came from “DOC”; TPD is not sure if they are camera-equipped.
  6. VOP is asking for name of officer that went through CEMEX site with K9.
  7. TPD is stating that video (if it exists) must be obtained via FOIA process.
  8. VOP asked if TPD is still securing the site;  TPD stated they were there through at least Monday.  TPD released the site back over to CEMEX by Tuesday, once Code Enforcement and K9 Dogs swept the site.
  9. VOP requesting documents related to “chain of custody” for the evidence they turned over to TPD. 
  10. TPD stated that the CEMEX site investigation is still open and a Detective is assigned reviewing all evidence..
  11. TPD stated that City Code Enforcement took over responsibility for the fencing oversight operations;  CEMEX will be responsive to Code Enforcement.
  12. VOP advised TPD that the “agreement” was that TPD was going to have FBI or ICE review the scene; that was part of the agreement to have them come down from the tower.
  13. TPD stated that some of VOP tactics are not “approvable” (i.e. they should not get into any physical confrontations and there have been some questionable practices in the past).
  14. TPD states that they do not agree with VOP in its assessment;  however Lieutenant Parker is not saying definitively that VOP is wrong either.
  15. VOP engaged TPD in conversation regarding its use of Military and Law Enforcement experts and that was how VOP solidified it’s assessment at the CEMEX site.
  16. TPD asked VOP if the experts provided statements to Law Enforcement (VOP is not aware of any experts providing sworn statements).
  17. TPD (Lt. Parker) is stating they weren’t aware of situation at CEMEX until Friday (June 1, 2018).  
  18. VOP stated they knew about it Tuesday (May 29, 2018) but TPD didn’t act on the info until Friday (June 1, 2018).  Officer Mendoza, TPD had responded.
  19. TPD questioned VOP’s method of having 100’s of people trample over evidence at CEMEX.  VOP responded that no one from TPD was responding to VOP’s requests for assistance.  Having the public come out was the only way to bring attention to the matter.
  20. VOP reminded TPD that their Detectives didn’t come out until the very end of the standoff (June 3-June 4, 2018).
  21. VOP advised TPD that TPD Detectives did not talk to, or get a statement from VOP (still, as of 6/6/2018).
  22. TPD stated that DPS (AZ State Police) responded to the CEMEX site “as a result of reports of person(s) on top of a the CEMEX tower with AR-15’s.” 
  23. VOP reminded TPD that while TPD did come out the first night, they didn’t fully process the scene, and never returned on 5/30/2018 as they were told they would.
  24. VOP was told a detective would come the next morning, but none came.  That is how the CEMEX event escalated between VOP and TPD on 6/3/2018.
  25. TPD stated that the people that built the camp at CEMEX (the man seen in the white cowboy hat), have a “soft spot” in their hearts for immigrants coming up from the Mexico border.
  26. VOP was asked by TPD if they have more solid evidence of child-trafficking;  TPD stated they have hundreds more articles of evidence that they have secured (buried?).
  27. TPD asked VOP if children toys, and other items found at these camp sites, could be just randomly left by “normal” migrants traveling through;  VOP affirmed that is a possibility.
  28. VOP requested of TPD that they at least explore the possibility of a large conspiracy of child pornography and pedophiles that may be using the I-19 corridor as it’s main trafficking route.
  29. TPD acknowledged that the straps on the tree at the CEMEX site could be viewed as suspicious.
  30. TPD asked again what other evidence VOP has regarding the claim of child / human trafficking; VOP reviewed statement of local gentleman from reservation.
  31. Local male took VOP to another site further north of the CEMEX site.  TPD asked again for physical evidence.  VOP stated that a mattress they found had suspicious dry fluids on it.  
  32. TPD stated although VOP believes they are witnessing child trafficking campsites, TPD states they can not identify a specific victim at this time.
  33. VOP discusses with TPD that they didn’t look to get involved with child / human trafficking as it’s dangerous and time-consuming, and it wasn’t within their original mission.
  34. VOP again makes a valid request to ask TPD to rule out all possible avenues of child abuse.
  35. VOP advised TPD that they will be out in the desert;  TPD stated that they are concerned about public safety as VOP will be moving around public areas with weapons.
  36. VOP reminded TPD that over the course of 3 years, there were only two complaints made about their operations that required TPD involvement.
  37. VOP reminded TPD that of the few times the police were called on VOP, it actually resulted in a felon being taken off the street and handed a 20 year sentence.
  38. VOP advised TPD of the 5 unarmed man teams with 1 armed security unit during the searches.
  39. TPD is asking that VOP act in a manner consistent with any other neighborhood watch program.
  40. VOP reminded TPD that they are a City Service Provider, and VOP / CBI / Experts in Tracking all tried to have TPD secure the scene at CEMEX.
  41. TPD acknowledged there are some “jurisdictional” issues between who responds to certain areas around the CEMEX / Indian Reservation areas.
  42. TPD stated they do appreciate the work that VOP does… did remind VOP of the concerns mentioned previously.

Meeting at Ward 5 (Tucson City Council) / Richard Fimbers - D

VOP is requesting from the City Council (Ward 5) that the office of Richard Fimbers take an overwatch responsibility with VOP… if women and children are in bad situation, VOP will put them into a secure area, and VOP is requesting that Ward 5 have oversight to remove any potential risk of complaints of “kidnapping” etc…  goal is to avoid having ICE intervention of any women, children or disabled.  

VOP is asking if Ward 5 will assume oversight regardless of immigration status.  This is being requested to minimize trauma to victims.  Trafficked victims are in place with VOP to assist 

Advocacy groups already contacted by VOP include Phoenix Dream Center (take in females), Bikers Against Child Abuse.