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Traffickers at the El Chapo trial say drugs aren't smuggled through open parts of the border

Rogue Valley

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Traffickers at the El Chapo trial say drugs aren't smuggled through open parts of the border

1/13/19
New York (CNN)Most drugs are smuggled into the United States on-board fishing boats, trains, tractor-trailers and ordinary cars that come into the country at legal ports of entry, according to former cartel members who've testified in the trial of notorious cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Some cartel members have testified about using underground tunnels. But none have said they've transported drugs into the United States at unwalled sections of the border. The testimony comes at a time when President Donald Trump's push for a border wall includes arguments that it would help stop the flow of drugs into the United States. In Guzman's case, the government's own witnesses -- many of them former Mexican cartel associates -- testified that after the government cracked down on smuggling tunnels, they began relying on legal ports of entry to bring drugs into the country. Former high-ranking Sinaloa cartel leader Jesus Zambada Garcia testified about Guzman's use of tunnels in the early 1990s to quickly smuggle drugs such as cocaine into the United States, earning him the nickname "El Rapido," or "The Fast One." "(A tunnel) is the most secure way to cross drugs to the US -- the easiest way to cross over weapons," Zambada Garcia testified. He said that in the late 1980s to early 1990s, 95% of cocaine was brought into the United States by a tunnel under Arizona's border with Mexico. But as law enforcement began discovering and closing tunnels, cartel management directed drugs to flow into the United States in other ways.

Tractor-trailers were, and continue to be, a popular method of smuggling in narcotics. Some trucks are fitted with a "double bottom" that has hidden compartments. Others are filled with goods, such as large cans of chilis, that contain sand surrounding a specially made, cylindrical brick of cocaine. If shaken by authorities, the sand makes the cans sound like chilis are moving around inside. From about 1990 to 1993, nearly 30 tons of cocaine were smuggled into the United States using this method, Zambada Garcia said. Zambada Garcia's nephew, Vicente Zambada, testified that drugs were often placed in "clavos" -- hidden compartments in cars -- and driven across the border through legal ports of entry. The younger Zambada was once groomed to take over the Sinaloa cartel by his father, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, who worked alongside Guzman. "Mexican families were hired to drive cars with secret compartments across the border at Juarez, sometimes three or four times a day," he said. There was also a time when Sinaloa associates sent drugs into the United States on trains. Another method that witnesses testified to using involved fishing boats and other vessels. In fact, Guzman himself is believed to have been intercepted sending messages to a woman, asking her to find someone "willing to go fishing," or, meet a ship filled with drugs hundreds of miles off the coast of the US, and bring the drugs back to shore in a fishing boat. More recently, cartels have developed "semi-submersibles" -- vessels that look like submarines, but skim the surface of water to avoid detection by the US Coast Guard and other authorities that work to interdict drugs in the ocean.

There was indeed a time 20-30 years ago, when drugs from Mexico were smuggled into the United States mainly via border tunnels. But US government(s) concerted efforts to close down this smuggling avenue was eminently successful and drug cartels had to find other means. This they did. Today most drugs entering the US from foreign sources enter via vehicles at Ports of Entry, via suitcases at airports, via freight trains traveling between Mexico and the US, via cargo ships, via mules that have swallowed packets of drugs, via speedboats and submersibles, via small prop aircraft that land at makeshift runways in the Florida Keys,and via the delivery services such as USPS/FedEx/UPS, etc. Yet another method gaining popularity and success in breaching the border is commercial drones.

Smuggling tunnels and mules carrying backpacks with drugs or floating drugs across the Rio Grande do of course happen, but these methods are outdated and unsophisticated. The cartels have discovered and built the supporting framework for other avenues to smuggle their shipments into the United States. They have millions of dollars to lose with every shipment intercept, so they go to extreme lengths to use reliable and proven methodologies. The wall is a "feel-good" barrier, but not a true impediment to the sophisticated drug cartels that depend on reliability.
 

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Traffickers at the El Chapo trial say drugs aren't smuggled through open parts of the border



There was indeed a time 20-30 years ago, when drugs from Mexico were smuggled into the United States mainly via border tunnels. But US government(s) concerted efforts to close down this smuggling avenue was eminently successful and drug cartels had to find other means. This they did. Today most drugs entering the US from foreign sources enter via vehicles at Ports of Entry, via suitcases at airports, via freight trains traveling between Mexico and the US, via cargo ships, via mules that have swallowed packets of drugs, via speedboats and submersibles, via small prop aircraft that land at makeshift runways in the Florida Keys,and via the delivery services such as USPS/FedEx/UPS, etc. Yet another method gaining popularity and success in breaching the border is commercial drones.

Smuggling tunnels and mules carrying backpacks with drugs or floating drugs across the Rio Grande do of course happen, but these methods are outdated and unsophisticated. The cartels have discovered and built the supporting framework for other avenues to smuggle their shipments into the United States. They have millions of dollars to lose with every shipment intercept, so they go to extreme lengths to use reliable and proven methodologies. The wall is a "feel-good" barrier, but not a true impediment to the sophisticated drug cartels that depend on reliability.

THAT"S IRRELEVANT! The wall doesn't have to work, it just has to make Trumplings FEEL special!
 

ElChupacabra

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Traffickers at the El Chapo trial say drugs aren't smuggled through open parts of the border



There was indeed a time 20-30 years ago, when drugs from Mexico were smuggled into the United States mainly via border tunnels. But US government(s) concerted efforts to close down this smuggling avenue was eminently successful and drug cartels had to find other means. This they did. Today most drugs entering the US from foreign sources enter via vehicles at Ports of Entry, via suitcases at airports, via freight trains traveling between Mexico and the US, via cargo ships, via mules that have swallowed packets of drugs, via speedboats and submersibles, via small prop aircraft that land at makeshift runways in the Florida Keys,and via the delivery services such as USPS/FedEx/UPS, etc. Yet another method gaining popularity and success in breaching the border is commercial drones.

Smuggling tunnels and mules carrying backpacks with drugs or floating drugs across the Rio Grande do of course happen, but these methods are outdated and unsophisticated. The cartels have discovered and built the supporting framework for other avenues to smuggle their shipments into the United States. They have millions of dollars to lose with every shipment intercept, so they go to extreme lengths to use reliable and proven methodologies. The wall is a "feel-good" barrier, but not a true impediment to the sophisticated drug cartels that depend on reliability.

The drug trade is a multi billion dollar industry, so those in that business will find ways to get their product to market. Just browse through the history of the "war on drugs" and you'll see the extent traffickers have gone through to get their product around any obstacle. This is yet another issue where the demand is a much tougher issue to deal with than just treating the symptom.
 

markjs

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The drug trade is a multi billion dollar industry, so those in that business will find ways to get their product to market. Just browse through the history of the "war on drugs" and you'll see the extent traffickers have gone through to get their product around any obstacle. This is yet another issue where the demand is a much tougher issue to deal with than just treating the symptom.

What's hilarious is a lot of it is just sent by mail over the dark web. A wall will doo diddly ****, but Trumpsters will feel all warm and fuzzy. Sorry but a 5 billion dollar useless momnument to ego that will be being built long after he's gone and costing big essentuially forever, just so they can have a win? **** that.
 

ttwtt78640

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The drug trade is a multi billion dollar industry, so those in that business will find ways to get their product to market. Just browse through the history of the "war on drugs" and you'll see the extent traffickers have gone through to get their product around any obstacle. This is yet another issue where the demand is a much tougher issue to deal with than just treating the symptom.

Exactly, and the demand for illegal immigration is mainly from the "job creators" who wish to keep US labor costs as low as possible and/or from those that see the resulting demographic changes as being politically advantageous. Why the US "needs" more folks with HS educations or less and who do not speak English is the greatest mystery of all when we go to considerable expense to prevent that very thing by funding public education.
 

Rogue Valley

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What's hilarious is a lot of it is just sent by mail over the dark web. A wall will doo diddly ****, but Trumpsters will feel all warm and fuzzy.

Basically, Trumps wall is a "feel-good project" to satiate his political base. Pragmatically, it is not an obstacle at all to the rich and powerful drug cartels.

They have developed work-arounds and far more sophisticated approaches. They can well afford to spend tens of thousands make a $1 million profit per delivery.
 

washunut

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Traffickers at the El Chapo trial say drugs aren't smuggled through open parts of the border



There was indeed a time 20-30 years ago, when drugs from Mexico were smuggled into the United States mainly via border tunnels. But US government(s) concerted efforts to close down this smuggling avenue was eminently successful and drug cartels had to find other means. This they did. Today most drugs entering the US from foreign sources enter via vehicles at Ports of Entry, via suitcases at airports, via freight trains traveling between Mexico and the US, via cargo ships, via mules that have swallowed packets of drugs, via speedboats and submersibles, via small prop aircraft that land at makeshift runways in the Florida Keys,and via the delivery services such as USPS/FedEx/UPS, etc. Yet another method gaining popularity and success in breaching the border is commercial drones.

Smuggling tunnels and mules carrying backpacks with drugs or floating drugs across the Rio Grande do of course happen, but these methods are outdated and unsophisticated. The cartels have discovered and built the supporting framework for other avenues to smuggle their shipments into the United States. They have millions of dollars to lose with every shipment intercept, so they go to extreme lengths to use reliable and proven methodologies. The wall is a "feel-good" barrier, but not a true impediment to the sophisticated drug cartels that depend on reliability.

I do agree that the wall or anything else we try will not ultimately stop the flow of a very valuable,though illegal and harmful product into the U.S. If politics was not largely theater that should/would not the the thrust of the debate.

That being said it will slow the flood of unskilled people from illegally crossing the border. Thus why this was voted on in an overwhelming bi-partisan way with over 80 senators agreeing. Now the attempt to fund what was agreed is a horrible idea because this president (who seems to have many loathsome qualities) wants it done.
 

Manc Skipper

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I do agree that the wall or anything else we try will not ultimately stop the flow of a very valuable,though illegal and harmful product into the U.S. If politics was not largely theater that should/would not the the thrust of the debate.

That being said it will slow the flood of unskilled people from illegally crossing the border. Thus why this was voted on in an overwhelming bi-partisan way with over 80 senators agreeing. Now the attempt to fund what was agreed is a horrible idea because this president (who seems to have many loathsome qualities) wants it done.

My understanding is that the loathsome president turned down that agreed deal, insisting he would do better but failed, and here we are.
 

Manc Skipper

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My understanding is that the loathsome president turned down that agreed deal, insisting he would do better but failed, and here we are.

Most brown people who come to work, fly in to visit or vacation, then don't go home. A wall does nothing to stop that either.
 
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