Border Patrol Seizes Over $1M Worth of Marijuana Every Day Across Texas
EDINBURG, TEXAS — October 10, 2018
U.S. Border Patrol agents continue to intercept marijuana smuggling attempts daily throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
Yesterday morning, police received a report about the accidental discovery of several people traversing through private property near Garciasville. After the Rio Grande City agents followed a fresh trail that led them to an abandoned house, they found five bundles of marijuana weighing over 290 pounds with an estimated value of $235,000. Five illegal migrants were arrested during the investigation.
Hours later, agents working near Garceño, Texas, observed a GMC Yukon leaving the Rio Grande at high speed. Mobile units responded, located the vehicle, and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop. The driver failed to yield and a pursuit ensued which ended after the driver struck a chain link fence and abandoned the vehicle. Inside the Yukon, agents discovered four bundles of marijuana weighing over 350 pounds worth an estimated $283,000. The Starr County Sheriff’s Office located the driver and arrested him.
The same day, in the afternoon, police officers responded to a report of several subjects loading bundles of marijuana into a Ford F150 near Rio Grande City. Agents immediately arrived at the scene and together with local law enforcement agencies attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver of the F150 refused to yield and attempted to return to the river. Agents arrested the driver after he abandoned the vehicle and attempted to flee. Inside the F150, agents seized five bundles of marijuana weighing over 350 pounds worth an estimated $283,000.
In Brownsville, Texas, agents located three bundles of marijuana abandoned in the brush. The more than 70 pounds of marijuana is worth an estimated $25,000.
Later that day, Fort Brown agents responded to a report of several subjects illegally entering the United States near Brownsville, Texas. Upon arrival, agents located a fresh trail that led to two illegal aliens and two bundles of marijuana. The nearly 50 pounds of marijuana is worth an estimated $39,000.
According to official Border Patrol data, agents face multiple drug detection incidents across Texas every day. There are from 2 to 10 such cases per day.
However, it is worth noting that drug trafficking from Mexico or other countries is not always organized by migrants. Most of those involved are Americans.
According to the U.S. Border Service’s report for 2016, more than 20% of the crimes on the border are committed by white middle-aged Americans.
Such studies are conducted every few years, and the latest included information about 81,000 drug trafficking arrests on the U.S.-Mexican border. Half of the cases have been solved, with those guilty of transporting the illegal substance found. At least 80% of the crimes involved American citizens.
"We found out that the police arrested more Americans carrying drugs than Mexicans. And every fourth of five detainees was the U.S. citizen who 'accidentally' found himself on the border with drugs in a backpack," the authors of the study said.
At the same time, as border patrol agents noted, those detained rarely correspond to the usual image of smugglers — for example, people hiding drugs in a suitcase when traveling, or in a laundry basket, or in food. It often happens that the police detain active officers of the Naval Academy.
Experts say that hiring American citizens who can move freely around the country across the border is strategically beneficial to criminal groups, as Americans are less likely to rouse suspicion than an illegal immigrant from Mexico.
Andrew Becker of the American Center for Investigative Journalism, who decided to study this problem in detail, believes that Americans agree to transport drugs for the same reasons as Mexicans.
"From what I was told, I realized that many had debts, they were threatened, so they began to engage in illegal business," explained Becker. According to the journalist’s investigation, during the presidency of Barack Obama, an unprecedented amount of drugs began to pass across the border — mostly marijuana, but sometimes cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines.