Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    ON THE BORDER Smuggling a whole lot of drugs a little at a t ... NQHO01.DTL

    Smuggling a whole lot of drugs a little at a time
    - Tyche Hendricks
    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    (01/28/2007) 04:00 PST Tijuana -- Salvador, a 22-year-old born in Los Angeles and raised on both sides of the border, started working as a "mule," or low-level smuggler, soon after his stepfather went to jail in San Diego for doing the same thing.

    "I'd buy a kilo of top notch Del Valle weed for $500 from the dealers right here," said Salvador, who wouldn't give his last name because of his illegal activity. "I'd split it in half and seal it with my vacuum sealer. Over there I'd sell it myself for $500 a pound. I'd double my money and get 3 ounces to smoke."

    Bilingual, bicultural residents of the border region are especially valuable to the drug cartels vying for control of Mexico's booming drug trade, said Veronica Baeza, director of the San Diego-Tijuana Border Initiative, a public health advocacy group.

    "What we're seeing for the first time is how much San Diego and Tijuana are actually linked at the level of crime," Baeza said. "When they do a bust, say for some sort of (meth) lab activity, of those arrested maybe 50 percent have residence in Chula Vista or Imperial Beach. They're U.S. citizens but because they speak the language and can move seamlessly back and forth, they went to work for the cartels."

    Salvador said he started as a teenager, walking across with packages of pot or methamphetamine taped to his arms and legs beneath his clothes and handing them off to a U.S. contact. Then, he went on his own.

    He was caught twice in five years of almost daily crossings at San Ysidro, the world's busiest border crossing, where 8 percent of the narcotics nabbed last year on the Mexico border were seized. The first time, he spent 11 months in juvenile detention. An adult the second time, he was fined $5,000, though a judge cut that to $500.

    Just 10 percent or 15 percent of the volume that smugglers try to move gets seized, experts on the drug trade said.

    "Smugglers for three decades have said, 'If we put 300 pounds in 10 different cars, nine of them are going to make it,' " said Peter Nuņez, a former U.S. attorney in San Diego, who has studied transnational crime for decades. "That's the strategy: Flood the port of entry. They know that with the law of averages, most will make it through."

    Contraband doesn't move only from south to north. Everything from cars and appliances to potatoes and fruit has been smuggled into Mexico to avoid import duties, and traffickers still do a brisk business in firearms, which are tightly restricted in Mexico. But the highest value is in narcotics smuggled north.

    When border security tightened after Sept. 11, 2001, illegal drugs bottled up in Mexican border cities, but the trafficking cartels have developed tunnels, maritime shipments and other alternate routes.

    "They reroute it, they don't stop it," said Bruce Bagley, a professor of political science at the University of Miami. "They're constantly innovating."

    As one agent at San Ysidro roved among the 24 lanes of idling traffic and his trained Belgian Malinois sniffed the cars, others glanced at readouts of each vehicle's recent history of border crossings, generated by computer from a license plate number.

    The agents have less than a minute to size up most crossers.

    "If a person crosses often, they're usually OK," said an officer with 18 months on the force. Customs and Border Protection policy prohibits printing his name. "But 99 percent of the time if they're smuggling, they're more sporadic."

    Another young agent tapped with a screwdriver on the compartments of a pickup's body to see if any sounded like they were packed with contraband.

    "I don't ask a lot of questions," he said after waving the driver on. "I look to see if the person and the car make sense together."
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Joliet, Il
    Didn't I read somewhere that they were not bothering to bust people smuggling over the border if they had less than 500 lbs. because it wasn't worth the court cost? But they'll bust someone here for parphanilia(sp?). We can surely see how tracking my sudaphed purchases has cut out the meth problem. Glad to know I've done my part. :P Kept one more dealer in business for them to give the green light to as they cross the border.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts