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Tag: Mexican border

Drug Cartels Are Smuggling Alarming Amounts of Fentanyl into the U.S.

Fentanyl found stuffed inside burritos in April. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

Fentanyl is becoming the drug of choice for cartels. 

In the past three years, fentanyl seizures have risen an astounding 4,000%, Border Patrol agents tell NBC News.

But most of the fentanyl isn’t turning up at ports of entry, where seizures are typically made. It’s found in the desert, where smugglers are taking advantage of limited federal resources.

Between 2018 and 2020, 12 pounds of fentanyl were found outside of ports of entry. By contrast, agents seized 41 pounds outside of ports of entry during 2021 fiscal year alone. 

To put that into perspective, a lethal dose of fentanyl is two milligrams. A single kilogram can kill up to 500,000 people. 

Because of its potency, a small amount of fentanyl can go a long way, making it easier to smuggle into the U.S., and it’s very profitable. 

“For the first time, we’re starting to see these tactics where fentanyl is being smuggled between ports of entry,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez told NBC News. “Cartels are very creative. They find ways to intimidate migrants and find ways to illegally have them transport that narcotic into the United States.”

Border Patrol Agents Find 2,500 Pounds of Marijuana Stuffed inside Carrots

Fake carrots stuffed with marijuana, via CBP.

Fake carrots stuffed with marijuana, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found 2,500 pounds of marijuana stuffed inside fake carrots that were being hauled across the Mexico border in Texas, Cleveland.com reports. 

A drug-sniffing dog detected marijuana in a tractor-trailer that was crossing the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

Border Patrol agents found the fake carrots that were mixed with real carrots.

The estimated value of the pot was $499,000, Customs and Border Protections said.

“Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the U.S./Mexico border,” Port Director Efrain Solis Jr. said in the news release. “Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities.”

Complaints Paint Disquieting Portrait of Border Patrol Misconduct

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.Drivers routinely complain about misconduct at Border Patrol checkpoints near the Mexican border, according to newly released information, the New York Times reports. 

Among the complaints are verbal abuse, racial profiling and improper use of guns.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has accumulated 6,000 pages of complaints, statistics and other records related to alleged misconduct.

The New York Times reported:

Collectively, the documents, detailing encounters between motorists and border agents from January 2011 to August 2014, portray an agency whose fractured oversight system has enabled at least some agents working along the southern border to stretch the limits of law and professional courtesy while rarely facing meaningful consequences.

Among the 142 complaints obtained by the A.C.L.U., only one seems to have resulted in disciplinary action: An agent received a one-day suspension for unjustifiably stopping a vehicle, apparently driven by the son of a retired Border Patrol agent.

James Lyall, an A.C.L.U. lawyer dedicated to the border, said the records not only confirmed the types of stories his office regularly heard from border residents, but also suggested that Customs and Border Protection had underreported the number of civil rights complaints it had received.

Homeland Security to Track Some Immigrants with GPS Devices to Test Reporting Compliance

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

GPS-enabled ankle bracelets are an effective way to keep track of parolees and others in trouble with the law.

Now Homeland Security is beginning to give the bracelets to some parents captured crossing the Mexican border illegal with their children, the Associated Press reports.

The parents were ordered to report back to immigration officials.

About 70% of parents fail to report to immigration officials, Homeland Security officials said in September.

Under the pilot program, Homeland Security will track about 250 “heads of household.”

Other Stories of Interest


Immigrant Steals Border Patrol Agent’s Gun, Pulls Trigger But Weapon Jams

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

It’s one of the greatest fears of law enforcement: A suspect wrestles away your guy,  points it at you and squeezes the triggers.

It happened Wednesday to a Border Patrol agent who was attacked by an immigrant near Encino, Texas, the Monitor reports.

Officials said the immigrant wrestled away the agent’s pistol and pointed it at him, but when the suspect pulled the trigger, the gun jammed.

After the attack, Border Patrol managed to detain eight people, including the attacker.

Report: About 80% of Drug-Related Crimes At Mexican Border Involve Americans

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Four of the five people arrested for drug-related crimes along the Mexican border are American citizens, the Daily Beast reports.

Citing a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Daily Beast wrote that the Border Patrol has essentially deceived the public into believing Mexicans are behind most drug busts by emphasizing their arrests in press releases.

Alonzo Peña, a retired deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, accused the U.S. of portraying immigrant as a “boogeyman.”

“After 9/11, the immigrant, terrorist, and criminal and the threat to national security have all been lumped together,” Pena said. “We’re not distinguishing very well who is who.”

Unidentified Bodies Stacking Up While Border Patrol Increases Security: 5,513 Found in 15 Years

 

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Increased security along the U.S.-Mexico border is forcing some migrants to traverse remote deserts with debilitating heat – a reality that leads to deaths.

The Associated Press reports that 5,513 bodies have been found in the past 15 years.

Critics charge that federal agents are more worried about enforcement than saving lives, the AP reported.

“The language coming out is alarmingly more of the same,” said Kat Rodriguez of Coalicion de Derechos Humanos in Tucson, who collects information on missing migrants to help medical examiners identify the dead, the AP wrote.

Many corpses are found with no way to identify the migrant, leaving a backlog of unidentified bodies.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Feds Delay Plan to Blanket Mexican Border with High-Tech Sensors

 

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Technology glitches have delayed the federal government’s plan to place sensors along the Mexican border, Wired reports.

The plan by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection was to saturate the border with a new generation of unattended ground sensors, or UGS.

Now the feds are backing down from spending the money, saying now there are no plans “release a solicitation for this specific requirement in the near future.”

The problems are related to frequency and bandwidth, Wired reported

We’ve determined that we need to resolve issues with saturated radio frequencies, limited bandwidth and system integration with the existing CBP infrastructure,” Jenny Burke, a public affairs officer with CBP, told Wired.