20 TONS Of Narcotics Seized In Just 2 Months At Border

LAREDO, TEXAS - JUNE 16:   Looking for hidden weapons and ammunitions, Homeland Security agents inspect a southbound vehicule on the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge separating the U.S. from Mexico, during an unannounced check-point, in Laredo, June 16 2009. Automatic weapons such as AK-47 and AR-15 are purchased in U.S. border states with lax gun laws -there are some 6,700 gun dealers located near the 2,000 miles long U.S.-Mexico border- by straw men (paid about $100 per weapons) working for Mexican drug cartels and smuggled into Mexico, where they fuel the narco-violence that has caused over 15,000 death since 2006. In Mexico, where gun sales are illegal, there is only one gun store, solely for police and army supplies. The ATF estimates that 90% of the 23,000 weapons seized in Mexico since 2005 come from the U.S. Following the admission by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the U.S. has a responsability in the narco-violence in Mexico (and fearing that it will spill into the U.S.), the ATF, Border Patrol, Homeland Security, ICE, and local police and sheriff are now trying to stem the flow of weapons into Mexico. But surprise check points inspecting vehicules heading South, in spite of hi-tech device like gas tank cameras, are easy to spot for narco-spies, and do little to slow the flow of arms into Mexico. On the Mexican side, Customs are well equiped with machines that can scan entires trucks, but they remain vulnerable to endemic corruption. (Photo by Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations agents stationed out of Jacksonville, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas, confiscated a record 20 tons of narcotics and other drugs in two months.

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