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USBP: More U.S. citizens arrested for smuggling drugs at the border


PHOENIX (KYMA, KECY) - Law enforcement officials say it continues to see an increasing number of American citizens smuggling drugs into the U.S. since the start of the pandemic.

It's been a year since the southern border was closed to nonessential traffic, but it does not mean drug smuggling is on pause. The Associated Press reports Mexican authorities have allowed most U.S. citizens to walk or drive across the border with relative ease.

But officials say more and more U.S. citizens are caught in drug busts. Moreover, Mexican traffickers continue to recruit Americans for the job.

Citizens were apprehended seven times more often than Mexican citizens. But in 2018 and 2019, Americans were caught roughly twice as Mexicans.

In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, "As cross-border travel shifted to essential travel only, criminal organizations shifted their operations as well." Not only are they crossing drugs in vehicles, but Border Patrol agents also see a rise in those bringing drugs attached to their bodies.

For the latest CBP enforcement statistics, click here.

The numbers below represent CBP's nationwide checkpoint drug seizures.

Fiscal Year 2021 runs October 01, 2020 - September 30, 2021
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Sumiko Keil

Sumiko Keil has served as the Digital Content Producer since March 2019.

The Associated Press


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