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In the summer of 1977, drug smuggling was rampant in the southern Arizona desert. Using horses, smugglers made a massive profit, as these horse trains were much more difficult to detect—until the United States Customs Patrol decided to beat these smugglers at their own game. Horses seized from the drug dealers were used by Customs Patrol agents, and soon the smugglers were running from the law. The Last Horse Patrol is the firsthand account of this law enforcement agenda, written by a retired member of the Customs Patrol, Homer Taylor. Taylor was an important part of the team, with extensive experience in the park service and in-depth knowledge of the Arizona desert. But it is not only a retelling of the how, when, and why of Customs Patrol; it’s a retelling of livelihood and friendship in the summer heat. It wasn’t all work and no play for these Customs Patrol officers. Together, they formed friendships and lifelong connections beneath the starry desert skies. Later, they mourned the closure of the Customs Patrol—the most cost effective and successful force against drug smuggling in United States history. For Homer Taylor, it was an experience he would never forget; for our country, it was a victory in the war on drugs.

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