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      Gun battles in Mexico cause decrease in drug seizures

      It TMs been a record setting year for drug seizures in Starr County.

      The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HITDA) has seized on average 4-6 thousand pounds of marijuana from smugglers each week.

      Right now is harvesting season for the crop across the border.

      October, November, December is when we expect to see a lot more seizures, Investigator Ismael Guerra said. But basically it TMs been slower than usual.

      Over the past 5 weeks the amount of marijuana seized has steadily decreased.

      Sources say it TMs a gun battle going on in Mexico right now against Cartels that is causing it, Guerra said.

      Border Patrol confirmed they too have seen a decrease in drug seizures but would not comment on reports of gun battles on the border.

      Even though HITDA is seeing less drugs, this year the task force has seized 280,000 lbs.

      That TMs more than double last year TMs total of 125,00 lbs of marijuana.

      We TMve had multiple arrests and multiple seizures, we also seized property and vehicles, Guerra said.

      The task force benefits from the seized property.

      Vehicles that we seize we sell them in our auction and that TMs money for the office, he said.

      The Starr County District Attorney TMs office holds car auctions twice a month selling about a dozen seized vehicles each time.

      That money can supplement salaries and buy valuable equipment to continue fighting the war on drugs.