Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Drug Cartels Shift Gears in Era of Legal Weed

Posted by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: ABQJournal

CBP Agents K-9 Unit Discover 9.5 Pounds of Heroin in the
Dec 26, 2017
Thanks to a BB Reader for the heads up.
By: Angela Kocherga / Journal Staff Writer - Las Cruces Bureau

CBP officers discovered 9.5 pounds of heroin in a hidden compartment of a Chevy 2500 pickup truck at the Santa Teresa border crossing October 13th. A drug sniffing dog alerted officers to where the drugs were concealed. Photo Courtesy US Customs and Border Protection.

 As more U.S. states legalize marijuana, Mexican drug trafficking organizations are making up for lost business and profits by shifting their focus to smuggling hard drugs like heroin and methamphetamine across the border.

“We’re becoming more and more self-sufficient for marijuana,” said David Shirk, director of the Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego, in a phone interview. “The decriminalizing is reducing the profitably of illicit marijuana from Mexico.”

In the last three years, the amount of marijuana seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at border crossings and international bridges has fallen by nearly half — from 602,795 pounds in 2015 to 338,676 pounds in 2017.

During the same period, methamphetamine smuggling steadily climbed from 29,001 pounds seized at border crossings in 2015 to 44,065 in 2017.

Separately, agents with the Border Patrol also saw a spike in methamphetamine from 6,443 pounds in 2015 to 10,328 this year.

BP Agent E. Gamez stops to coordinate plans with other agents as they begin a patrol near the Animas Mountains in southwestern New Mexico’s Bootheel. Photo : Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal

“The more you legalize marijuana, the more other drugs matter and become more profitable,” said Arturo Fontes, a former FBI agent and expert on Mexico’s drug cartels, in a phone interview. “And right now nothing matters more than meth, heroin. This is why we’re seeing such a bloody year.”

Mexico is on track to set a record for murders. Authorities are projecting an estimated 27,000 drug-related killings by the end of 2017.

A new law awaiting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s signature would allow the use of the military to police the streets in regions ravaged by drug violence, a move opposed by human rights organizations.

The rise of Mexico as a leading source for methamphetamine came after the U.S. in 2006 banned over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in some cold and allergy medicines that is needed to make meth.

Meanwhile, the opioid crisis in the U.S. is fueling demand for heroin from Mexico as Americans addicted to prescription medication search for alternatives when they can no longer get a prescription for the painkillers or afford them.

At the same time, more states in the U.S. are decriminalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use and allowing American growers to supply patients and customers legally.

Liquid Meth Seizure by USC and BP 
So Mexican drug cartels have adapted by moving more meth and heroin through official border crossings, where smaller amounts of potent drugs can be concealed in vehicles with hidden compartments.

“Also drug organizations will often try to use body carriers to transport even smaller-sized loads of drugs across the ports of entry,” said Roger Maier, CBP spokesman for the El Paso Field Office, which includes all of New Mexico.

 The amount of heroin seized by CBP officers at border crossings in the region nearly doubled, from 45 pounds in 2015 to 85 pounds this fiscal year.

Drug traffickers traditionally avoid the official border crossing points and haul large loads of marijuana across remote stretches of borderland.

“The most common routes tend to be in the desert areas of southern New Mexico, with smugglers utilizing vehicles or people backpacking the drugs across on foot,” said Joe Romero, supervisory Border Patrol agent for the El Paso Sector, which includes all of New Mexico.

Mexican marijuana has long been a staple for smugglers. And experts predict the disruption created by the rise of legal pot producers in more states will only lead Mexican drug traffickers to resort to more violence.

“You can’t beat the U.S. market for marijuana,” Shirk said, “but you can try to eliminate competitors that might be producing heroin in Mexico.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 177 pounds of liquid methamphetamine concealed in plastic bottles inside of the fuel tank of this vehicle, October 18, 2017.  Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and BP.


  1. So much expensive medical marihuana for perfectly sane people?
    That is a scam that can't last, cheaper rules.
    Big pharma has first hand knowledge of the patients they no longer supply, updated every minute, just one more legal thing to sell.

  2. You guy about 20 years too late .. the cartel has been moving Meth but the paisas were able to do it in the us since it was easy to get the “pastillas” back in the day. Since they made it harder to get them they hopped the border back to Tijuana Sinaloa and many too Michoacan. Easier to get the materials over there that’s why you use to see the meth super busts in Jalisco from Mencho and los Quinis

  3. In this day and age, just have Drones fly around in Heroin Growing regions. Then go to those places and burned them down. Or fumigate with pesticides that will kill the plant. As for Meth, the only logical way stop the importation of Meth making chemicals.

  4. That liquid meth loooks naaaaaaastyyy!!

    1. The meth is in plastic bottles covered by gasoline in a fuel tank. You can't see the meth

    2. I think this dude is talking about the picture with the liquid meth. You know, the one that says liquid meth. Not the one that says anything about fuel and shit. Read first, then reply, guy. And I agree with the original comment. It looks nasty!!!!!

    3. at the end of the day, you don't judge a book by it's cover

  5. We need encourage people to do what they want to do, but still be able to work full time jobs.. sadly its mostly "whites" "Caucasians" that are the most addicted to these bad drugs, the UN should help the US with that proglem, and well you know.. Make America great again. **cough** **cough**

    Arriva Culiacan y feliz año para todos. No necesitamos droga, necesitamos paz.

    1. @146 . America will be great again once we get the border tightened up , and we seize enough American greenbacks from the drug dealers . That is where the big focus is going assets . Wish old chapo would do a little cash transfer . We gonna get the money ! Then on the other hand , it seems so many Mexicans want to be part of the untited states . Mexico keeps going down in this spiral we may need to let them be a part , land and all . Wipe out the cartels and the organized crime and it could be a American paradise . Wages would go up in the usa (formerly Mexico) and everybody could get on the US tax role . The USA used to be known as the biggest food supplier . Remember the 50's 60's 70's , "American Farmers Feed The World" . That was one of Jimmy Carters slogans . A very good man , but not such a successful president . Back to "Making America Great Again" . If we annexed mexico and got rid of the majority of the dirtbags , under proper management it could be greater than ever . Back in the 30's when so many Mexicans were forced back to mexico I think was a bad move . Probably some were American citizens . If they would have isolated the dealers and give them the kind of sentences they were given in those days , it would have stopped . Make America great again !!!

    2. I am "white" and Mexican(I guess no quotations?) and both sides of my family have dealt with drug issues equally..

      Although my grandfather that I love and respect that is from Mexico did leave me a letter when he was passing away too say away from drugs.

      Both sides of the family sold and did drugs, you can see the data more Mexicans are doing drugs than ever before so don't pick a certain "people" out and say they are druggies..

    3. 5:42. I see nothing in your post about fixing our drug problem that fuels Mexico's fire. How about I start cooking meth in your backyard, as this should be "America First" right? We should consume what we make here right? Lets bring those drug production jobs back home!!!!

    4. 5:42 150 million Mexicans acquired through territorial conquest will turn into portorrican citizens demanding welfare and food stamps, medicaid, medicare, education to become integrated snobs and electing more Africans to high office...
      Conquering more Mexican land comes at a price, you don't really wanna go there, boy.

  6. Tons upon tons of Mexican MJ are still being smuggled across the border. Lots of it is used to make extracts since it’s still cheaper than domestic MJ in legal states.

    1. If they were thinking they would create the extracts in Mexico and then smuggle the final product north. 10lbs of flower versus a couple ounces of refined wax or oil.

  7. People will still by that dirt Mexican weed, because the taxes on legal pot is still to high, why pay $15 for a gram when you can get 4 grams for $20

    1. What state you from?in both Washington and Oregon a gram isn't no $15.ppl can buy 7 grams for $21-$45 with the state tax included.when first legalized it was about that,but gradually prices went down in both if you live in Cali in time prices should decline.Colorado on the other hand is robbing recreational users with their state tax.

    2. In Colorado you can get $100.oz all day long, nice high grade, choose between 10-20 different stains in one shop.

      That's about $3. a gram.

  8. Kids need to be taught how dangerous the hard drugs are from a very young age. All countries need to invest in this, make after school clubs available at a much reduced cost. They need to ensure that kids are not hungry due to poverty. That way they get a good education and have less temptation to be lured into the drug world. More opportunities to work in the future.
    Parents need to be taught how to discuss drugs with their kids, no judgements...start to judge and they stop talking to you.

    My homes like a youth club, my homes always full of my kids friends. They always tell me how they can't talk to their parents. That alone leaves them vulnerable to bad friends luring them into the drug world.

    I've lived both sides to drugs, I lived through the rave era, I'm not proud of it but it happened. As I became an adult I stopped, I was lucky. I've worked with children born addicted to heroin, the long term effects are horrendous. I've looked after kids who come to school high, 3 years old and absolutely drugged to this eyeballs. We've got to get some kind of control.

    Personally id say legalise weed Nationwide. I say decriminalize weed users. Some people are always going to use so I see it as a comprise to legalise it but impose stricter jail time for those who deal or traffic heavy drugs.

    Weeds beneficial to many. Doctors wanted to put my son on antidepressants, sleeping tablets, Ritalin when he was 14. He's autistic, ADHD and has seizures. He won't even take a paracetamol and refused the medicine. He was in a huge crisis and suicidal. He was honest with me and started smoking weed, he'd read of the health benefits for someone like him. I hated it but 4 years on he's so much better. It genuinely helps him to have less meltdowns and seizures. He can focus and is learning great now.

    His dream is to grow somewhere where its legal. He's good at it but in the UK we'd loose everything, including my youngest son, its not worth it but its the one thing he excels at. Its frustrating when I can see how it helps him. He hates heavy drugs and even ran a dealer out of our area as he was selling crack to kids. Because my sons a weed smoker it stigmatises him and hampers him, yet he's fully functioning (better than ever) on it.

    My opinion of drugs is so conflicted but whatever the governments do they've got to get this under control. The suffering that drugs cause to all countries has got to stop though, its not fair on innocent people.

    1. Thank you very much for your contribution with compassion and insight.

    2. Good post bro...thanks for honesty...and stories like that are exactly what pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies don't want to hear... because they are the biggest, richest mafia in the world....billions made off of patients where medical weed would be more beneficial to them instead..

    3. The big money is on selling the shit to perfectly healthy people, or on selling it to insured with fat pocket insurance,
      Others will have to make do with cheap underground black market shit "from mexico"

  9. How can they include 2018??? It’s only been 2018 for 2 hours!!! 6076 cocaine in 2018, ya right!!

  10. Tons upon tons of Mexican MJ are still being smuggled across the border. Lots of it is used to make extracts since it’s still cheaper than domestic MJ in legal states.


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;