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Updated Oct 3, 2012 - 1:15 pm

McCain: No surprise if suspects turn out to be drug cartel

As the nation mourns the murder of Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie, Arizona Sen. John McCain said he would not be surprised if the suspects, whenever they are apprehended, are involved with drug cartels in some way.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if this was a bunch of drug people who were transporting drugs,” he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday.

McCain was very clear in stating that he is not making any assumptions about the suspects, but simply that he would not be stunned to see that they are involved with a cartel, given the area’s notoriety for drug activity.

McCain went on to say that he believes it is a federal responsibility to ensure both the integrity of the border and the safety of its agents and citizens that patrol and live in border regions.

“We still have a very serious problem with drug cartels running drugs up through the mountains of Arizona, being guided by people on the mountains of Arizona, up to Phoenix and distribute [drugs] throughout the country,” he said.

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