Concealed Packages, Sophisticated Tunnels: How Fentanyl Crosses the US-Mexico Border

There are new battles on the US-Mexico border over the most dangerous narcotics law enforcement ever seen. With the help of technology, authorities are working to stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States through extensive research.

Sixty percent of all fentanyl seized in the United States is found at US-Mexico border crossings in southern California, according to Mariza Marin, director of the San Ysidro Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana.

More than 65,000 vehicles pass through the San Ysidro port of entry each day. Marin said he first saw fentanyl in 2008 and had exploded since fiscal 2019.

To search for drugs, Border Patrol agents use non-intrusive inspection technology that allows officers to scan as drivers pass.

“We are looking for packages hidden in this vehicle,” Marin told CBS News.

Medicine packets can be hidden in various places, including in gas tanks. A packet of fentanyl can be about the size of a brick and contain a few hundred thousand dollars worth of fentanyl, according to Marin.

Assisted by trained dogsborder patrol agents can search thousands of vehicles a day.

They are not only looking for where the smugglers can hide the drugs, but also who can transport them. The trend of using POE miners has increased over the past few months. Marin said minors from “economic means” are targeted in high schools and colleges.

“These smuggling organizations are offering them what seems like a lot of money – $500, $1,000. And tell them to put that in your pocket, put that in your backpack, and take it across the border,” he said. she declared.

The tunnels are also used to smuggle drugs into the United States. Earlier this year, a Homeland Security investigation uncovered a highly advanced tunnel stretching 1,700 feet from Tijuana, Mexico to Otay Mesa, California.

This tunnel had electricity and small railway tracks. Authorities have no idea how long it was in operation, who ran it, and how many others may remain.

Marin said even a small serving of fentanyl can impact a community. While it’s impossible to find every piece of fentanyl that crosses the border, Marin hopes the use of modern technology and increased law enforcement efforts will help.

“It’s really the effort to leverage both technology, officer instinct, training and intelligence to really, really deter some of this illicit activity,” she said. declared.

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