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YCSO receives $5.4 million for border support

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma County Board of Supervisors recently accepted a grant of over $5 million for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) for border-related crimes. 

The state funding will go toward reimbursing YCSO for costs related to the prosecution and imprisonment of people charged with drug trafficking, human smuggling, illegal immigration, and other border-related crimes.

“It’s to address immigration and border crimes that are committed in Yuma County so you can actually use that for equipment, personnel, investigative purposes, prosecution,” said Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot.

The $5.4 million grant comes from the state of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.

Sheriff Wilmot said YCSO applied for the grant to reimburse jail costs for migrants.

“For Yuma County, I’ve seen it as low as half a million to 1.9 million a year of unanticipated cost to our operations of our jail, and those are costs that normally we would spend that money on infrastructure,” said Wilmot.

Wilmot said there are people in his jail from 20 different countries.

“Predominantly from Mexico, I’ve seen them from China, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Romania, I mean just to name a few. These are individuals that some are here on warrants, some are here because they have committed heinous crimes,” said Wilmot.

He said on average it costs about $136 per day for an individual to be in jail, from the cost of food to medical issues, teachers, and more.

He said they really appreciate this much-needed funding. 

“I want to thank our legislators for recognizing the fiscal impacts on the border counties and trying to help with that. It’s helped us tremendously,” said Wilmot.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team in February 2022 and is the morning anchor/producer for News 11 and Fox 9.

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