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HomeGeorgia & USACartels are finding creative ways to smuggle drugs into the US

Cartels are finding creative ways to smuggle drugs into the US

(NewsNation) — Cartels remain innovative in their approach to drug trafficking across national borders, creating pathways for fentanyl and other substances to enter the United States.

Coconuts, crutches, car batteries, coffee cans and carrots all have one thing in common – they’ve been filled with drugs and shipped to the US.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers did a this week saw historic fentanyl and meth abuse at the Andrade port of entry in California. The stop revealed more than 54 pounds of fentanyl and more than 32 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the fuel tank of a vehicle driven by a 37-year-old US citizen.

Using X-rays and K-9 teams, CBP officers at the Nogales Port of Entry successfully stopped more than 21.6 million fentanyl pills from entering the U.S. this fiscal year. This includes 269,200 fentanyl pills hidden in the car’s spare wheel and quarter panels.

Hiding drugs in auto parts isn’t a new strategy for drug cartels trying to smuggle their wares across the border, but it’s one of their less avant-garde approaches. Every year, smugglers come up with new places to hide drugs, which leads to the notorious game of barbecue for border guards.

In 2016, more than a A ton of marijuana was found hidden in a batch of fake carrots. Then in 2020, agents found $61 million worth of pot and meth in boxes from linden and nopal trees. That same year, they found another $1.4 million in methamphetamine in a shipment of green onions.

Last August, agents seized 14,000 fentanyl pills inside a set of crutches.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, officers saw contraband drugs in lollipops, furniture and wax candles. Items such as lawn ornaments, groceries and pet food have also been used as vehicles for drug trafficking.

Officials in Yuma County, Arizona, say 52% of drugs are seized by officers at points of entry, but 48% are discovered only after they have been smuggled in.

However, those tasked with getting the substance from point A to point B are not always willing to participate.

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (JUNODK). Sometimes people forced to act as mules risk serious injury by swallowing drug-filled balloons and hiding them inside their bodies.

“Stomach acids can sometimes cause the balloons to burst and death comes very quickly,” UNODC writes in a 2012 report.

Officials working along the border say it’s a win for law enforcement if they can disrupt a drug smuggling attempt, but that doesn’t mean it’s a loss for the cartels.

“Just like any big business in this country, they’re going to have an acceptable loss margin for damaged property, damaged goods, stolen goods. The cartel is no different,” said Michael W. Humphreys, CBP port director in Nogales, Arizona. “And we’ve heard that their acceptable loss margin is 17 to 20%.”

In the past three days, CBP officers have seized seven shipments of drug traffickers trying to smuggle into the U.S., Humphreys said.

Almost 600,000 (597,640 to be exact) fentanyl pills were found. In addition to the traditional method of hiding drugs in a car, smugglers also hid them on their bodies or strapped to their bodies.

“It seems like every time we turn around, (we) find some new method of concealment,” Humphreys said.

NewsNation producer Stephen Joachim contributed to this report.



Reported by Source link

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Cartels are finding creative ways to smuggle drugs into the US

(NewsNation) — Cartels remain innovative in their approach to drug trafficking across national borders, creating pathways for fentanyl and other substances to enter the United States.

Coconuts, crutches, car batteries, coffee cans and carrots all have one thing in common – they’ve been filled with drugs and shipped to the US.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers did a this week saw historic fentanyl and meth abuse at the Andrade port of entry in California. The stop revealed more than 54 pounds of fentanyl and more than 32 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the fuel tank of a vehicle driven by a 37-year-old US citizen.

Using X-rays and K-9 teams, CBP officers at the Nogales Port of Entry successfully stopped more than 21.6 million fentanyl pills from entering the U.S. this fiscal year. This includes 269,200 fentanyl pills hidden in the car’s spare wheel and quarter panels.

Hiding drugs in auto parts isn’t a new strategy for drug cartels trying to smuggle their wares across the border, but it’s one of their less avant-garde approaches. Every year, smugglers come up with new places to hide drugs, which leads to the notorious game of barbecue for border guards.

In 2016, more than a A ton of marijuana was found hidden in a batch of fake carrots. Then in 2020, agents found $61 million worth of pot and meth in boxes from linden and nopal trees. That same year, they found another $1.4 million in methamphetamine in a shipment of green onions.

Last August, agents seized 14,000 fentanyl pills inside a set of crutches.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, officers saw contraband drugs in lollipops, furniture and wax candles. Items such as lawn ornaments, groceries and pet food have also been used as vehicles for drug trafficking.

Officials in Yuma County, Arizona, say 52% of drugs are seized by officers at points of entry, but 48% are discovered only after they have been smuggled in.

However, those tasked with getting the substance from point A to point B are not always willing to participate.

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (JUNODK). Sometimes people forced to act as mules risk serious injury by swallowing drug-filled balloons and hiding them inside their bodies.

“Stomach acids can sometimes cause the balloons to burst and death comes very quickly,” UNODC writes in a 2012 report.

Officials working along the border say it’s a win for law enforcement if they can disrupt a drug smuggling attempt, but that doesn’t mean it’s a loss for the cartels.

“Just like any big business in this country, they’re going to have an acceptable loss margin for damaged property, damaged goods, stolen goods. The cartel is no different,” said Michael W. Humphreys, CBP port director in Nogales, Arizona. “And we’ve heard that their acceptable loss margin is 17 to 20%.”

In the past three days, CBP officers have seized seven shipments of drug traffickers trying to smuggle into the U.S., Humphreys said.

Almost 600,000 (597,640 to be exact) fentanyl pills were found. In addition to the traditional method of hiding drugs in a car, smugglers also hid them on their bodies or strapped to their bodies.

“It seems like every time we turn around, (we) find some new method of concealment,” Humphreys said.

NewsNation producer Stephen Joachim contributed to this report.



Reported by Source link

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