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Teen Smuggles Methamphetamine With Toy Car

Sixteen-Year-Old Uses Remote-Controlled Car to Transport Meth

On November 17, 2019, agents on the United States/Mexico International Border witnessed a person ducking in and out of view along the secondary boarder wall. More agents responded to the site and found a 16-year-old boy hiding in thick brush. In his possession were two large duffle bags and a remote-controlled car. The agents discovered that the 16-year-old was a US citizen, and in the bags were 50 packages of methamphetamine weighing 55.84 pounds. The estimated street value of the drugs was $106,096. Q13 Fox TV stated that the remote-controlled car was most likely controlled by someone on the southern side and used to drive the drugs from Mexico into the US.

A press release from US Customs and Border Protection says that San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison commented, “I am extremely proud of the agents’ heightened vigilance and hard work in stopping this unusual smuggling scheme.”

After the search, the teen was arrested and taken to Otay Mesa, a California city near San Diego, to face drug smuggling charges. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that most of the methamphetamine available in the US is produced in Mexico and smuggled across the Southwest Border. Although restrictions have been placed on precursor chemicals in Mexico, Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) find alternative ways to manufacture the addictive drug.

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Making Meth

The number of American methamphetamine laboratories have been decreasing since their peak in 2004 and are currently at their lowest point since 2000. Most of the labs seized now are small and only produce about one or two ounces of meth per production cycle. Ingredients used to produce these small batches include household items such as lithium batteries, camp fuel, cold packs, and starting fluid. Mexican produced meth is a low cost, high purity, and high potency alternative and is now the main source for meth in America.

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Smuggling Drugs Across the Border

The ways TCOs smuggle drugs into America is constantly evolving with more creative ideas. Methamphetamine is often dissolved into another substance, such as a paste or liquid, and disguised as items like soap or aloe Vera. Conversion laboratories are increasing around America, converting and recrystallizing meth so it can be sold.

The use of drones was previously not favored by traffickers because of their noise, short battery life, and limited payload, but advanced technology is making this option more convenient. The DEA says that the largest advantage is that drones can be operated from far away or set on a programmed route, decreasing the likelihood of being caught. There have been cases of drones dropping loads of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine.

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