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Reducing Drug Smuggling at the United States, Mexico Border

Essay by   •  August 30, 2019  •  Essay  •  824 Words (4 Pages)  •  60 Views

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Title: Reducing Drug Smuggling at the United States, Mexico Border

Summary: As walls went up to end drug trafficking at the United States and Mexico border, the traffickers have found methods around it. Using underground tunnels, law enforcement has the advantage of knowing geological details and their environment to find the tunnels. In addition to tunnels, smugglers are using ports of entry and open waters which also allow for heavy detection by law enforcement.

The United States is building walls at the Mexico border to not end drug trafficking but to reduce and redirect it. Drug trafficking is a business, as a wall goes up the cartel simply finds a way around it, this way will be ports and tunnels. While the majority of smuggling attempts are happening in the ports of entry, the biggest loads of drugs enter San Diego through tunnels. The ones equipped with rails can carry packages as big as 35 tons. The San Diego Sector’s Tunnel Task Force is in collaboration with the fire departments and geologists finding and profiling areas where tunnels are likely to be dug. San Diego’s soil, at least along certain stretches of the county, makes the area ideal for building tunnels. The soil is strong enough to support the weight of a tunnel but soft enough to dig through. Other parts of the border are too sandy, and sophisticated tunnels require infrastructure to support the weight. Smuggling in the ocean is evolving from Jets Skis dropping off packages on deserted beaches near San Diego to multi day expeditions taking ships 150 miles west into the ocean and as far north as San Francisco. As walls starting going up, pangas, which are small, open fishing boats that run on outboard motors started appearing more. The operators of the pangas started catching on of increased attention from law enforcement and began switching to commercial yachts and fishing vessel. This is making it more difficult for law enforcement to differentiate traffickers from locals and fishermen. In order to better detect the traffickers it is important law enforcement is being educated on the seasons, knowing what fish is in season, what kind of tackle you use to go sea fishing as opposed to lake fishing, smugglers sometimes mix that up. Ports of entry are also commonly being used, agents typically have 40 seconds to detect signs of smuggling. Agents should be looking for anything that could point to drug smuggling, such as custom-made compartments, uneven tires, a nervous driver or a weighted down trunk. When drug smuggling moved to the ports of entry, it was by intended that the fences would divert drug trafficking there. At the ports of entry the agents have the advantage of lights, drug-sniffing canine patrols, X-ray machines and other high-tech equipment. Diverting drugs to the ports is a safer option than sending agents to rural areas of the country, two hours away from their nearest backup.

Image 1 Caption: Image captured from source A. A member of the Border Patrol Entry Team descends into the Galvez tunnel, which crosses beneath the U.S.-Mexico border in Otay

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