Law enforcement agents across the United States try to stop drug trafficking and similar crimes that are tied to drug cartels. One way that these drugs make it into the country is through sophisticated tunnels. These have been found along the southern border that joins the U.S. with Mexico. The busts that come when new tunnels are found are usually considerable and can lead to serious criminal charges.
In a recent event, federal agents found a tunnel that contained 17 pounds of heroin, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 3,000 pounds of marijuana, 1,300 pounds of cocaine and over two pounds of fentanyl. All told, the value of the drugs was around $29.6 million. While this bust didn't happen in Texas, it gives you an idea of how large some of these drug smuggling operations are.
When tunnels like this are found, drug cartels are usually blamed. The recent tunnel was 2,000 feet long, and it had a rail system, ventilation and lighting. An agent noted that it showed determination on the part of the trafficking organization.
Why is law enforcement focused on stopping drug trafficking?
The National Drug Intelligence Center notes that a primary concern for South Texas is Mexican trafficking organizations. It notes that they are sophisticated and widespread operations that bring many types of drugs into the area, but the impact doesn't end with only this immediate area. Instead, these drugs are brought across the country.
Some of the drugs that are noted as being funneled through these organizations include marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. There is a focus on stopping these organizations not only to prevent the passage of these drugs, but also because these cartels are said to use illegal methods to run their operations.
Accusations of intimidation, violence and corruption are often associated with these cartels. Once the cartel has handed the drugs off to street gangs, those activities continue on a local level, which troubles local law enforcement.
How does this urgency to stop drug trafficking impact people?
When police officers find someone with a quantity of drugs that suggests trafficking, they will arrest them and charge them with the crime. These individuals should be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty, but this premise isn't always followed. Anyone who is charged with drug trafficking often has a long road to prove they aren't guilty of the crime. Getting started on a defense plan after arrest is important for anyone facing these charges.