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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Increase in US Citizens Arrested For Smuggling Drugs Over US-Mexico Border During the Pandemic

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

U.S. citizens were apprehended nearly seven times more often than Mexican citizens between October 2020 and March 31, 2021 for trying to smuggle drugs in vehicles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows.
An increasing number of American citizens have been apprehended as they have tried to smuggle illegal drugs into the U.S. since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, an uptick that's come amid travel restrictions at the border with Mexico.

For more than a year, the closure of the southern border to nonessential traffic has sharply limited the number of foreign citizens entering the U.S. by land. The rules have been extended until at least June 21, but Mexican authorities have allowed most U.S. citizens to walk or drive south across the border with relative ease.

Law enforcement officials and drug trafficking experts say the border rules — put in place in April 2020 to curb the spread of the coronavirus — and their lopsided enforcement is driving the rise in U.S. citizens involved in borderland drug busts. Mexican traffickers, however, have long recruited Americans for the job.

U.S. citizens were apprehended nearly seven times more often than Mexican citizens between October 2020 and March 31 for trying to smuggle drugs in vehicles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows. In the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, Americans were caught roughly twice as often as Mexicans.

“As cross-border travel shifted to essential travel only, criminal organizations shifted their operations as well,” the agency said in a recent statement. It noted its increasingly seized drugs trafficked by U.S. citizens and by commercial trucks during the pandemic. Both groups are exempt from the restrictions at U.S. land borders.

Despite early pandemic disruptions to the global drug trade, illegal substances have since been pouring into the U.S. — the world's largest consumer of them. Customs and Border Protection says narcotics seizures along the U.S.-Mexico border have increased slightly in the 2021 fiscal year, while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said Mexican traffickers' ability to move drugs into the country had stayed “largely intact."

Most illegal drugs in the U.S., particularly narcotics, enter at the southern border. Americans are critical to these operations, trafficking experts say.

“The perception is that U.S. citizens are given less scrutiny by Border Patrol and CBP,” said Michael Corbett, who worked at the Drug Enforcement Administration for 30 years and is now a narcotics expert witness. “Smuggling drugs is a risk management enterprise. They’re looking for whatever methods they can come across to most safely and efficiently move drugs across the border.”

Victor Manjarrez, a former Border Patrol sector chief in El Paso and Tucson, said “the use of American citizens kind of ebbs and flows.

“Drug organizations … are much more adept at changing than the government is,” said Manjarrez, now a professor of Border and National Security at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Customs and Border Protection figures show the agency seized nearly 92,000 pounds (41,730 kilograms) of drugs from vehicles at southern ports of entry between October 2020 and May.
U.S. citizens had been apprehended about 2,400 times by late March for drug smuggling during inspections of vehicles crossing those checkpoints. In comparison, just 361 such apprehensions during the same period involved Mexican citizens, who are generally second — behind Americans — for drug trafficking arrests at ports of entry.

Arrests of U.S. citizens who bring drugs through in their bodies also have risen. In the first four months of the 2021 fiscal year, 505 Americans were arrested with drugs concealed in their bodies at southern checkpoints, compared with just 35 people from all other countries during the same period.

Though illegal substances brought in by that type of courier represent just a fraction of the overall drugs crossing into the U.S., those apprehensions in fiscal year 2018 were more balanced between U.S. citizens and non-citizens at 467 vs. 386, respectively, Customs and Border Protection data shows.

Apprehension numbers for U.S. and Mexican citizens caught driving drugs over the border in recent years also were not as far apart as this year — 1,693 vs. 793 in 2018 and 2,694 vs. 1,218 in 2019, respectively.

In many cases, drug couriers in the U.S. are recruited for one-off assignments to drive a shipment across the border in exchange for a lump sum payment based on how much product they are transporting, experts say.

SourceNBC 4 Los Angeles

23 comments:

  1. Cars complicated, jail time not worth it.

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  2. Well no surprise here. Economy goes to the tank and people are desperate. I heard that it takes 9 tries before someone is caught bringing drugs over the border.

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    1. Probably maybe less, I know 3-4 people who were arrested at the border and I think all but one had over 5 trips. It's very complicated now in days with all the security at customs. They know your crossing history,who you were with, what car. Using the same car more than once was got my cousin caught.

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    2. I wonder how much people make just to cross drugs... but yeah man people are desperate, have to make ends meet

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    3. The economy is actually pickings up, pretty strong.

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    4. 3:39 (or anyone with info),do you mean the 'distributer' sent them/provided them the same car that they had sent others in before? Raises a red flag as to why this (same)car has passed through with multiple drivers? Curious and thank you-MS.H

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  3. They WON'T catch ME I AM two SLICK, i HAVE passed MANY a drugs
    ..... JUST saying......

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    Replies
    1. Dumb caps kid

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    2. 10:37 i hope they X-Ray your ass with the cattle prod and your calsetin up there game will be over.

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  4. Supply that demand!! Los Gringos asta la camisa pierden. Por merca

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    1. Different races use drugs, not only White.

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    2. 8:09 money is with whitey...
      And that is the Plain Unwashed Truth, you did not find too many black or mexican among the top Iran/Contra drug trafficking rogue agents, and of those, only Juan Ramonn Matta Ballesteros got his ass imprisoned for over 30 years, his compa felix ismael rodriguez mendigutia did not even need a presidential pardon to get away with murder or his own drug trafficking for profit for hisself.

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  5. yeah most are US Citizens but are Hispanic US citizens who have ties in Mexico or smuggling for Mexican Cartels. No one just drives or flies into Mexico and offer their smuggling services.

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    1. Not quite lil mama. It’s very easy to get introduced to someone here in the US that is hiring for transportation/ smuggling. It can be through a friend of a friend type of thing. EDD is not enough and people can sure use the extra money regardless of race. Cartels prefer whites. Not every Mexican or Hispanic US citizen has ties to to Mexican cartels foh

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    2. Exacto and I’m laughing at this statement. When they say us citizens they mean anchor babies

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    3. 8:31 US is made of people from many parts of the world, I am sure your race had a nickname, when coming to America. Also keep in mind if you read history books, at one time the western part of US belonged to Mexico.
      I love it when people like you stereotype people without looking at your roots.




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  6. La mota me robaron

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    Replies
    1. 8:35 pos a mi nomás
      "la cucharita se me perdió"
      (y no sé qué más)
      Los Carrangueros del Ráquira

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  7. Pulling the race card...again. typical bb liberals. Everyone knows it is hispanic "citizens". Also, posts using derogatory terms like gringo are always acceptable on bb, until its reversed.

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    1. 9:00 goodbye and good riddance, don't suffer us pinchi gringo nalgas prietas, liberals has always been better than "libertarians", how about cry to Russia for more tea party money?

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  8. 6:45
    STHU
    They are mostly mexican Americans and many many Anchor babys

    ReplyDelete

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