Expert: High-tech border security no match for cartels - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Expert: High-tech border security no match for cartels

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Border Security Expo in Phoenix Border Security Expo in Phoenix
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

As the Border Security Expo rolls into Phoenix, experts say securing the border has less to do with technology and more with intelligence gathering.

Law enforcement and defense contractors spent the day checking out the newest technology at the expo in downtown Phoenix.

Dozens of companies from all over the world offered up their solutions to keep illegal immigrants and drugs out of our country.

New aircraft were on display as well as armored vehicles, bomb resistant shelters and towers, personal protection and new computer software.

But even with all the advancements in technology, the cartel still manages to stay one step ahead.

Drug cartel expert Sylvia Longmire said it's because the cartels are constantly adapting.

One new trend Longmire has noticed is that cartels are becoming more involved in human smuggling, turning migrants into drug mules. That's creating a challenge for law enforcement along the border.

"How do you know if they're telling the truth? How do you know if it's a smuggler just saying that so he can get out of the charge or if it's a migrant who really truly was victimized," said Longmire.

Longmire said another new trend is cartels easing off on using ports of entry to smuggle cash and guns south into Mexico and finding alternate routes instead.

Longmire said the solution to stopping illegal activity along the border has less to do with technology and more with intelligence. But getting your hands on that kind of information is easier said than done.

"It's hard to find somebody that will go against the cartels and provide information because they know if the cartels find out snitching they're going to get killed," said Longmire.

Longmire said the United States won't ever be able to completely seal the border. The best we can hope for is to manage the amount of drugs and illegal immigrants coming across.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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