Savvy Smugglers’ Trick: Magnets Under Cars

AP Photo
AP Photo

Savvy drug smugglers, seeking innovative methods to evade federal authorities at the border, are using heavy-duty magnets to affix illegal substances to the undercarriage of “trusted traveler’s” vehicles in Mexico, reportedly targeting the drivers without their knowledge.

One account of this newer tactic was recounted in an Associated Press article that described a motorist who utilizes the express “trusted traveler” border crossing lane at the San Ysidro port of entry. The SENTRI program vets applicants’ backgrounds in order to provide an expedited border crossing process for those crossing frequently, reducing crossing time from an approximate San Ysidro border crossing wait time in excess of two hours to an estimated speedy 15 minutes.

The motorist in the AP story called the cops after noticing what he thought may be a bomb affixed to the belly of his vehicle. Police responding determined the package was not a bomb, but 13.2 lbs. of heroin packed into “six magnetized cylinders.”

Authorities believe that smugglers are tracking SENTRI drivers with predictable routes, strapping illegal substances to their cars without the drivers’ knowledge. The process takes just moments, and the drugs are then collected on the other side of the border. One federal agent that spoke with Breitbart agreed the SENTRI drivers are likely being targeted for the regularity of their routes and participation in the SENTRI program.

Prior to 2014, SENTRI stickers were issued to approved drivers; however, this is no longer the practice and may be making those who have not removed the old stickers from their vehicle at greater risk of being targeted for drug transport.

“There have been 29 cases of motorists unwittingly carrying drugs under their cars in the San Diego area since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) identified the trend in July 2011, including six drivers who made it past inspectors,” ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack was reported as conveying to the AP.

Since the bomb scare incident on January 12, three cases have been reported, the AP documented, making the frequency remarkably high.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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