"The fight in Mexico is about domination of the smuggling corridors and those corridors don't stop at the border," Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said.
Execution style murders, violent home invasions, and a spiraling kidnap rate in Phoenix -- where police reported an average of one abduction a day last year linked to Mexican crime -- are not the only examples along the border.
In southern California, police have investigated cases of Americans abducted by armed groups tied to the Tijuana drug trade. One involved a businesswoman and her teenage daughter snatched in San Diego last year and held to ransom south of the border.
In south Texas, a live hand grenade traced back to a Mexican cartel stash was tossed onto the pool table of a bar frequented by off-duty police officers in January. The pin was left in it and the assailant fled.