In his written testimony submitted to a Senate committee, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever didn't mention anything about his allegation that Border Patrol agents are being instructed not to arrest all illegal border crossers to keep apprehension numbers down.
The allegation — made late last week to Fox News — caused major waves. On Monday, the national chief of the Border Patrol sent a letter to Dever, calling the claim 100 percent false.
And on Thursday at the Senate hearing, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu — who replaced Dever after a scheduling conflict prevented Dever from attending the hearing — backed Dever's claim. Babeu cited second- and third-hand sources.
Cochise County Sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said this week that Dever stands behind his allegation, which he has made several times before.
“I do not make this stuff up,” said Dever in an emailed statement. “I can unequivocally say what I have told you comes from Border Patrol agents who work the problem every day and other federal government officials from various organizations. Some of it is 3 years old, some of it is current.”
You can read this full statement in the box to the left.
The Fox News story quoted Dever as saying he planned to tell the committee about the substance of his conversations with Border Patrol agents.
“I will raise my hand to tell the truth and swear to God, and nothing is more serious or important than that,” Dever said in the story. “I’m going to tell them that, here’s what I hear and see every day: I had conversation with agent A, B, C, D and this is what they told me.”
But the testimony submitted to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee does not elaborate on his claims.
His two-page statement includes information about the level of drug and people smuggling through his county, and questions how Department of Homeland Security officials can call the border secure without defining what that means. You can read the full testimony in the box to the left. He ended his testimony with this:
"In the words of almost every Border Patrol agent that works this problem every day, 'We’ve made some progress, but we still have a long way to go.' So, in the words of Larry the Cable Guy, 'get ‘er done!'"