Dramatic increase in meth seizures at Texas borders

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by ANGELA KOCHERGA / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @AKochergaBorder

kvue.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 11:55 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 12:01 AM

EL PASO, Texas -- "Tiene algo que declarar de Mexico?"

The officer asks are you bringing anything from Mexico. These days more and more meth is coming across the border from Mexico, hidden in cars or taped to bodies.

The biggest spike in smuggling is in South Texas.

"A good 80 percent of the seizures involving narcotics here in the passenger environment, passenger vehicles, deal mostly with methamphetamine," Customs and Border Enforcement Phil Barrera said.

Along the stretch of border, from the Rio Grande Valley to Del Rio, border patrol seized a record 2,200 pounds of meth last year -- a 100 percent increase.

"They're really pushing it for whatever reason."

When it comes to meth, Mexican cartels have a clear advantage. Mexico has well established smuggling routes here on the border, and access to chemicals and superlabs.

But the big question is will cartels push even more meth if more U.S. states legalize marijuana?  

If sales of Mexico's biggest illegal cash crop, marijuana, slump, the country's biggest cartel is also the leading meth producer.

"It's being smuggled in from south of the border," said Angelica Becerra from El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's office in El Paso County is also starting to see more meth in the outlying areas. Compared to last year it's been a huge jump.

Authorities up and down the border may see another record-setting year when it comes to meth from Mexico.
 

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