Jul 22 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-sponsored legislation targeting cartel “spotters”. The Transnational Criminal Organization Illicit Spotter Prevention and Elimination Act increases penalties for those who aid cartels in illegal activity by transmitting information about the positions of Border Patrol or destroying Border Patrol communication devices.

“When I visited the border last year, I saw firsthand the serious humanitarian crisis at our southern border, largely caused by the cartels,” said Senator Tillis. “While the Biden Administration refuses to show leadership and accountability, Congress must take action and confront the cartels head-on. This legislation increases penalties for anyone who assists the cartels. We have to fix this crisis by crippling the cartels’ illegal and inhumane operations.”

Currently, the cartels employ individuals, or “spotters”, to surveil stretches of the southern border and report on Border Patrol movements, equipment locations, and other law enforcement activity. These spotters seek to aid the cartels in avoiding law enforcement while trafficking people, drugs, and other illegal contraband. This legislation would harshen penalties on spotters by increasing fines and imposing a maximum prison time of 10 years on those convicted of helping cartels. 

Read the full bill text here