(Phoenix, Ariz. - June 22, 2010) Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that grant applications are being sent this week to law enforcement agencies in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas for new projects that will increase security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The projects selected will be funded with money from the $94 settlement Goddard reached earlier this year with Western Union. The settlement includes $50 million specifically allocated for new law enforcement initiatives in the four Southwest border states. Each state is guaranteed at least $7 million.
“This is an unprecedented effort to bring the border states together to crack down on drug cartels and organized border crime,” Goddard said. “These funds will provide critical support to state and local law enforcement that has not been available before. This effort is designed to give law enforcement the necessary tools and resources to fight border crime most effectively.”
Under the settlement reached four months ago, Western Union is contributing $50 million to the Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, Inc., a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance effective law enforcement through the State Attorneys General. The funds will be dedicated to investigating and prosecuting money-laundering, human-trafficking, drug-smuggling and arms-trafficking crimes. The funds will also support law enforcement training efforts in the United States and in Mexico.
Each grant application will be evaluated by representatives from the Attorneys General's Offices of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with representatives from the Arizona Department of Public Safety; the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions and the Phoenix Police Department.
Money from the settlement will also finance a new Border Crime Prosecution Team of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Based in Tucson, the unit will be made up of 10-12 prosecutors and investigators. It will work in coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, using state-of-the-art intelligence to achieve its mission.
For more information, contact Press Secretary Molly Edwards at 602.542.8019.