Tags:

Mexican Drug Cartels Recruiting Texas Children

Monday, 17 Oct 2011 02:28 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

* Jobs include running drugs, being lookouts, errands

* 25 kids arrested this year in one Texas county

* U.S. program to warn kids, parents about drug cartels

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Texas law enforcement officials say several Mexican drug cartels are luring American children as young as 11 to work in their smuggling operations.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told Reuters the drug gangs have a chilling name for the young Texans lured into their operations.

"They call them 'the expendables,"' he said.

McCraw said his investigators have evidence that six Mexican drug gangs have "command and control centers" in Texas recruiting children for their operations, attracting them with what appears to be "easy money" for doing simple tasks.

"Cartels would pay kids $50 just for them to move a vehicle from one position to another position, which allows the cartel to keep it under surveillance to see if law enforcement has it under surveillance," he said.

"Of course, once you're hooked up with them, there's consequences."

McCraw said 25 minors had been arrested in one Texas border county alone in the past year for running drugs, acting as lookouts, or doing other work for Mexican drug gangs. The cartels are now fanning out, he said, and have operations in all major Texas cities.

This month, "we made an arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was in a stolen pickup truck with 800 pounds of marijuana," he said. "So they do recruit our kids."

McCraw says the state of Texas is joining a program initiated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Operation Detour, in which law enforcement officers meet with children and their parents in schools and at community centers to warn them about the dangers of what appears to be the easy money the Mexican drug gangs offer.

Law enforcement officers say children are less likely to be suspects than adults, are easily manipulated by relatively small sums of money, and face less severe penalties than adults if arrested.

Last month, Texas officials released a report indicating Mexico-based drug gangs are intent on creating a "sanitary zone" on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande and are "intimidating landowners" in south Texas into allowing them to use their property as "permanent bases" for drug smuggling activity. (Editing by Corrie MacLaggan, Jerry Norton and Bill Trott)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Report: White House Ignored 'Alarm Bells' About Border Crisis

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 23:18 PM

The Obama administration two years ago reportedly ignored the "ringing alarm bells" of a potential crisis of unaccompani . . .

Judge Tosses Ron Johnson's Lawsuit Against Obamacare Subsidies

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 19:43 PM

A federal judge on Monday threw out Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's lawsuit challenging the federal funds that l . . .

Americans from Texas, California Killed in Gaza

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 22:42 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved