Mexican Drug Cartels Are Now Smuggling Drugs Across the Texas Border in Toxic Waste

Categories: Crime

The Mexican cartels, never ones to rest on their ingenuity, are always coming up with new and inventive ways to smuggle large quantities of drugs into the United States. Take the drug cannon, modeled on the T-shirt launching devices used at NBA games, or the brilliant drive-a-Jeep-over-a-border-fence gambit.

Now, Wired reports this morning, the cartels have perfected yet another ingenious method for sneaking narcotics past border agents: covering them with lots of hazardous industrial waste.

The drugs are crossing the border in tanker trucks carrying industrial waste Wired describes as a "toxic stew" of oil and drilling fluids and wastewater that tends to include things like benzene and calcium hydroxide.

The government has technology in place at the border to scan for concealed drug shipments. What it lacks is the expertise and training to safely decontaminate those shipments for use as evidence. That's why U.S. Customs & Border Patrol began seeking bids last week for a company to provide HAZMAT teams to operate at two border checkpoints in the Rio Grand Valley.

When drug shipments are found in hazardous materials, teams provided by the contractor would be responsible for vacuuming out the tanker, stepping inside to fetch the drugs, then properly disposing of the waste.

Of course, even with the added expertise, untold quantities of narcotics are bound to slip past the border concealed in hazardous waste containers. And while surely the cartels have their customers' best interests at heart, you do wonder whether any contaminated product could make it to market, jeopardizing an otherwise perfectly good bender. Food for thought, you know?

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jose257 topcommenter

This is about the most unbelievable story I have heard on the drug war.   It is so unbelievable that I suspect it is some deal to buy equipment that they will never use.

Joanne Welch
Joanne Welch

So we do actually allow people to bring hazardous waste from Mexico, over the border, and into the U.S. ??

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I can see it now, stick about a pound of weed into 7,000 gallons of hazardous waste carried by a junk tractor pulling a junk tank and get rid of your hazardous waste for free.

Of course the driver will be clueless.

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

WTF?? Why in the hell are we allowing toxic waste to come into this country at all? Instead of scanning for drugs and then spending our tax dollars to hire a team of HAZMAT people to fetch the drugs and dispose of the waste, send the whole damn truck back to Mexico where it belongs.


well by golly we've got to do whatever it takes to stop the drugs and keep the toxic waste flowing into this country.

RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ChrisYu That was kind of the way my thinking was going.  I'm rather more disturbed about the toxic waste is coming into this country from Mexico than I am about any drugs coming in.

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