The Telegraph has spoken to ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) Alex Smith, who was in charge of the operation on Saturday the 30th last month where one male suspect was apprehended and charged, and one female declared dead at the scene.
The operation was a coordinated project between HSI and Federal agents who carried out a warranted raid on behalf of the U.S Attorney after undercover operatives filmed large quantities of illegal narcotics being transported to, stored, distributed and produced inside that very establishment.
According to Special agent Smith, Mr. Rodriquez is being charged with a slew of offences, he has been criminally deported from the U.S three times by ICE and will now be housed at a federal prison for the foreseeable future. His primary charges are for distribution, sale, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Found on the location was: Crack cocaine, various opiates and meth.
Agent Smith goes on to explain that the point [of the operation] is to have autonomy over local law enforcement to prevent interference, like we see in other sanctuary cities. The raid is carried out in connection with a wider goal of cleaning up Clifton Forge. He explains that “We have our eye right now on several other local establishments to take customs enforcement action on, in accordance with U.S law. Clifton Forge is a relatively small city, but it is ridden with crime and corruption and /that/ is why we’re here in this tiny little town.”
The special agent tells our reporter that his bosses at D.C, and himself believe leaders of local law enforcement in CF have been asleep at the wheel, and claims that they are here to fix up the mess. However the agent explains further that he doesn’t view their actions as going above local law enforcements [heads], but that they came to the decision not to include them since Pedro Rodriquez, illegal immigrant and owner of the restaurant, was going to be standing federal charges.
At the end of the day HSI’s presence here is intended to return this beautiful city back to it’s quiet and calming roots, and to rid the city of people like Mr. Rodriquez who, in agent Smith’s words, preyed upon the fact that this city is seemingly too small to be on the federal radar; which he assures us is the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, he informs us, “We have our eye right now on several other local establishments to take customs enforcement action on, in accordance with U.S law. Clifton Forge is a relatively small city, but it is ridden with crime and corruption and /that/ is why we’re here in this tiny little town.”
When asked whether HSI had taken measures to ensure the safety of the public, agent Smith tells our reporter that since there had been no reported sightings of weapons on the premises from their undercover operatives they had no inclination there would be a firefight. To a later question, he did however respond that they deployed an armored vehicle which served as a ballistic protection device which shielded the adjacent hotel. Furthermore, when questioned, the agent admitted to not having been aware there would be a job fair going at the same time, only a block away.
When pressed further on questions regarding the safety of the general public in relation to these crimes special agent Smith tells our reporter that “We are unsure at this time the impact that Mr. Rodriquez has made on the local drug dealing market; and parents should always check in with their teens and educate them on the dangers of drugs and controlled substances. We are working closely with the DEA to monitor the ongoing situation.”
“We are investigating and will actively combat or prevent any form of retaliation. I would say crime is definitely on the rise […]The public should not be worried, the thing with organized crime is it’s not a matter of if they get caught, it is when. My agency has a plethora of resources in it’s arsenal; and D.C has given me complete autonomy to clean up this city. So, any criminal who wishes to continue to operate inside of Clifton Forge consider this your warning. Clifton Forge will no longer be a safe haven for crime because at the end of the day we have a blank check for funding, and we will always win.”
Article by Caspian Douglas