HOUSTON, Texas — As Central Americans continue to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, large drug busts remain frequent in South Texas. On Wednesday officials reportedly seized 500 pounds of marijuana from one pickup truck; eight men immediately sprinted from the vehicle.
The bust happened in Duval County after authorities attempted to pull the truck over for a traffic violation, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The vehicle crashed into a resident’s fence and then eight men quickly spilled out of it; they all fled on foot and were ultimately never apprehended by authorities. It is unclear if the men were illegal immigrants.
The 500 pounds of “compressed” marijuana were found in eight “makeshift” backpacks, AP reported.
Ronald Smithwick, investigator with the Sheriff’s office, told the Corpus Christi Daily-Caller that each backpack weighed almost 70 pounds. He said that drug smugglers “throw [backpacks] over their shoulders and walk through the brush to avoid the checkpoints.”
This year alone, authorities have already seized more than one ton of marijuana from backpacks in Duval County.
Breitbart Texas has been reporting consistently on the apparent increase of drug busts in South Texas amid the border crisis, which involves tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American minors entering the U.S. illegally. Several months ago, Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado told Breitbart Texas that $10 million drug busts were a weekly event in the Rio Grande Valley Sector alone.
Tirado added that an average 13,000 pounds of marijuana are confiscated in the area each week.
Just last week, Breitbart Texas reported that more than 1,700 pounds of marijuana–with a street value of $1.3 million–were seized by Border Patrol agents in Texas’ Del Rio Sector in one week.
Many have speculated that drug smugglers are having a field day, since Border Patrol agents are busy dealing with newly-arrived Central American minors. Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby recently reported that in one Texas Border Patrol sector, up to 70 percent of Border Patrol agents are currently taking care of the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America, instead of manning the state’s southern border.
The mainstream media has painted a picture that would suggest border security has been drastically increased during recent month; but the reality is much different. Breitbart Texas recently took grassroots leaders on a border tour to show firsthand how unsecured the border is in most areas.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.