As the white pickup pulls to a halt in a cloud of dust, Customs Patrol Officer Sloan Satepauhoodle leaps from her truck, .9-mm pistol drawn, and scrambles through the 105掳 heat to back up her partner. Few travelers have legitimate business in the remote recesses of Arizona's Tohono O'odham reservation, a realm of cactus and creosote Moncler Women Vests Black Friday Sale bush where dry streambeds serve as roads. So the questions race through Satepauhoodle's mind: Is the driver ferrying dope from Mexico? How much firepower is he packing? None, it Moncler Women Coats Black Friday turns out: He's just a local cattle rancher, who nervously displays his license. "We could have had a shootout," says the rookie Moncler Men Vests Black Friday Sales officer after the truck roars off. "It was a false alarm, but either way, Moncler Women Jackets Sale it's an adrenaline rush."
Satepauhoodle (Kiowa for Kill the Bear), 35, is one of two women in the Shadow Wolves, an elite U.S. Customs Service unit formed nearly three decades ago. The team's 21 Native American trackers, representing tribes from all over the United States, patrol a 5,200-sq.-mi. corridor that is one of the nation's busiest entry routes for heroin, cocaine, marijuana and undocumented aliens. The Wolves do use such high-tech equipment as night-vision goggles and hand-held global positioning devices. Mostly, though, they rely on techniques passed down from their ancestors. "They can look at a set of Moncler Men Jackets Sale tracks," says Customs Service special agent Kyle Barnette, "and tell you whether the person is carrying cargo or contraband or is just an undocumented alien trying to sneak into the country."
Now, in the wake of Sept. 11, the unit has taken on another crucial assignment: keeping out members of al Qaeda and other terrorist any weapons they may be carrying. "Tracking somebody who has a suitcase bomb," notes Barnette, "is no different than tracking somebody with 70 lbs. of marijuana on his back."