Even drug smugglers know how to innovate.
Five people have been charged in an odd case involving children's coloring book pictures and liquid narcotics. According to authorities in Cape May County, NJ, two inmates at a correctional center, a state prison inmate, and two others figured out how to turn Suboxone, a prescription drug designed to treat opioid addiction, into a paste. That orange paste was then "drawn" on coloring book pages and sent through inmate mail.
“In my 38 years of law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Cape May County Sheriff Gary Schaffer told the Press of Atlantic City. Authorities apparently found out when another inmate snitched.
Police are still looking for another suspect from outside the jail system.
Meanwhile, drug smugglers in Mexico are also trying to evolve their transportation methods. Now, they're targeting American teens to transfer drugs across the border:
American teenagers are being recruited by Mexican drug cartels to carry drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, Texas law enforcement officials say.
Over the past 10 years, 476 juveniles have been caught with drugs at a port of entry in El Paso County and 302 of them were U.S. citizens, according to the El Paso County attorney's office.
It’s a scary trend authorities are trying to stop.
“They’re being presented with this in the high schools now as a viable option for making money, ” said Border Patrol Agent David Zapp.
Authorities say cartel members, who are blamed for thousands of deaths in Mexico, will pay American teens several hundred dollars to carry a backpack full of marijuana across the border.
“They’ll tell them, 'look you’re a juvenile, you’re not going to jail, nothing’s going to happen to you,' ” said El Paso County Sheriff Deputy Manny Marquez.
But Marquez warns most teens don’t understand the reality and risks of helping the ruthless cartels.
“They can suffer, anywhere -- from just getting beat, to death, ” Marquez said.