Skip to comments.'Blind mules' unknowingly ferry drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border
Posted on 01/24/2012 9:11:52 AM PST by FryingPan101
To expedite his commute to the University of Texas at El Paso, where he studies music education, Andres received a special pass from U.S. Customs and Border Protection after passing a rigorous background check. Applicants have their fingerprints taken and must complete an in-person interview with a Customs and Border Protection officer. They cannot have any previous criminal history.
The SENTRI (which stands for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) pass allowed Andres to waive the standard vehicle check at the border crossing. Most of the time, the border guards just peered inside his vehicle and waved him through.
Authorities were certain that he posed little to no risk of bringing drugs or weapons across the border. What they didn't know was some of these special pass holders, including Andres, were being targeted by Mexican drug cartels, officials say.
"It was a nightmare, like suddenly being in a nightmare," Andres said. "I [asked] God, 'Why did you allow something like this to happen?'
On the morning of November 16, 2010, Andres drove his 2007 Ford Focus to the Stanton Street Bridge border crossing as he'd done every day for years.
On that day, Customs and Border Protection agents singled him out for a random search and discovered two bags of marijuana in the trunk of his car. He told the agents he had no idea how the drugs got there, but because there was no evidence that his trunk had been tampered with, he was arrested and detained
Rest of the story at link: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/23/world/americas/mexico-blind-drug-mules/
(Excerpt) Read more at edition.cnn.com ...
Fort Bliss is comprised of approximately 1.12 million acres of land in Texas and New Mexico. The Main Cantonment Area of Fort Bliss is located adjacent to El Paso, Texas.
Fort Bliss trained thousands of U.S. Soldiers during the Cold War. As the United States gradually came to master the art of building and operating missiles, Fort Bliss became more and more important to the country, and expanded accordingly."
This technique is as old as smuggling itself. Been going on forever, at the border, at the airport, at the bus/train station, etc. They put the contraband in your car, or your bags, or your packages, whatever works.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea to cover the VIN number in your car with a piece of tape so that it couldn’t be read from outside the vehicle?
Interesting story. Sounds like in the future when they come across this they should allow the car through and keep tabs. Then bust whoever attempts to remove the contents.
The spent the month of October 2011 at Ft Bliss. I wish all could see the Post Exchange. It is the largest and most complete in the World. Multiple movie screens and all kinds of activities to keep the service men and women out of trouble in the local area. Most people don’t know that El Paso is one of the safest cities in the U.S. The proximity to Mexico is interesting for El Paso. I took a co-worker to visit Rosa’s Cantina (from the Marty Robins song, El Paso) and he wanted me to let him out of the car as we drove to a drove that had a chain-link fence on the oppposite side from the Cantina. That was Mexico. The folks serving at Ft Bliss are wonderful patriots who deserve much praise.
El Pasoans love our military. Being a solid democrat town you would think there would be an anti-military attitude but it is quite the opposite. Other than the local rags making a big deal every time a soldier gets ticketed for j-walking, the people of El Paso respect our soldiers and realize that Ft. Bliss provides us not only with physical protection but with financial protection as well. Ft. Bliss has been expanding like crazy and the influx of stable jobs and stable families has been a boon for the town.
I noticed the same thing. I lived off post in a long term hotel but everywhere I went, including church on Sunday, folks were very friendly and welcoming. I was disappointed the alligators were gone in the park downtown. Having some bronze alligators in some moment of bliss is not the same as real alligators I recall when visiting as a young child in the 1950s.
“Wouldnt it be a good idea to cover the VIN number in your car with a piece of tape so that it couldnt be read from outside the vehicle?”
I don’t know if Customs and Border Agents will go to the trouble of scanning it from the inside. These characters seem to have these border-crossers figured out from the git-go so they would probably find a way to get that number.
I have some oceanview property for sale in Arizona. He had a great cover - come across for so long that the BP ignores him. I'm sure this happens all the time.
“I wish all could see the Post Exchange.”
You can say that again. The PX is now part of a larger shopping mall with walk-up entry. While civilians aren’t allowed to use PX-Commissary priviledges, they are encouraged to come to Fort Bliss to shop the other stores and restaurants. Living facilities too. The family quarters are bigger, more modern, and more beautiful than most homes anywhere. They’re stand-alone units with two car garages, air-conditioning, 3-4 bedrooms, stylish streets with beautiful street lamps, parks, playgrounds, close to shopping. Absolutely fabulous. The barracks aren’t bad either. Most look like high-rise apartments. This ain’t your Dad’s military base. The USOs are some of the most active and locally su[pported in the world. But, you know, most of Texas is patriotic and supportive of our troops. Even Nancy Pelosi was at Bliss last week.
I meant everybody cover their VIN number.
Apparently you can get a new key made by supplying the VIN number to a dealer. It seems like a good way to et your car stolen, or (in this case) to have illegal contraband stowed in your trunk without your knowledge.
Yes Ft Bliss is really nice, and the expansion continues- there is also a huge new medical complex being built to replace the aging William Beaumont Army Medical Center. My hubby has a deep connection to Ft Bliss, he went to basic there, then he had long term treatment there for wounds from mine in Vietnam. He has been going there for treatment for so long he was at the old hospital before the current one was built in the 1970s and will be going to the new one when it is completed. Hubby is very happy with all the new things.