What do U think Mexico Teens smuggling drugs across border on the rise?
Douglas, AZ- On January 12th at about 3 p.m., CBP Officers were screening travelers when a special trained CBP K-9 Team showed interest in a 1992 Buick Regal being driven by a 17-year-old boy. The boy was identified as a resident of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. The CBP Officers searched the vehicle and discovered packages of marijuana concealed in the front bumper. The marijuana weighed about 18 pounds and had an estimated street value of over $40,000. CBP Officers seized the marijuana and the vehicle. The boy was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution.
On Monday, CBP Officers at the port of entry in San Luis, AZ detained a teenager suspected of trying to smuggle drugs into the U.S. at the San Luis port of entry near Yuma. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said when the 16-year-old boy attempted to bypass border officers, he was detained for further inspection. Officers noticed a bulge around his torso area and immediately took him into custody. A search revealed packages with over 5 pounds of marijuana worth nearly $12,000.
December 22, 2009 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a Mexican teenager who tried to smuggle marijuana taped to his body into Arizona. Officers were screening travelers the Friday before Christmas at the Douglas port of entry when they observed a 13-year-old boy wearing loose clothing. The boy was identified as a resident of Agua Prieta, Sonora, and a search showed that he had one package of marijuana taped to his inner thigh.
” Smuggling of any contraband into the United States is a very serious offense” said Ernestine Morris, Assistant Port Director for the Douglas Port of Entry” these young kids think that because they are minors, that the consequences of breaking the law will be minimal; they couldn’t be more wrong. Even a minor can face criminal charges that can have an adverse affect on future goals and opportunities for the rest of their life When it comes to securing our nation’s borders age plays no factor.”For quite some time the United States Attorney’s office has declined prosecution of juveniles who attempt to smuggle drugs or other contraband into the United States. It has generally been frowned upon by the U.S. Attorney because of the enormous case load they already carry concerning adult smugglers. The drug trafficking organizations know this and have been exploiting teenagers in their smuggling endeavors. They know that if the juvenile is caught with their load it is very unlikely that the child will be prosecuted and cut loose. If the juvenile is prosecuted, there will be very little if any jail time other than time served. The juvenile will be placed on probation and will be released to a responsible adult. It will be interesting to see how vigorously the U.S. Justice Department will prosecute these juveniles and what message it will send to the drug cartels who exploit these children for their own profit.