U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested three teenagers over the weekend in three separate attempts to smuggle opioids into the U.S. from Mexico.
The teens allegedly strapped packages of fentanyl to their bodies and tried to cross the border, officials said in a news release.
What's the story?
In just over a week, CPB has thwarted more than $1.3 million worth of illegal drugs from entering the country.
“These cases all involve juveniles allegedly attempting to smuggle a dangerous and lethal narcotic such as fentanyl. Fentanyl is known to be 50 to 100 times more deadly than heroin,” said Pete Flores, director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego.
“The dangers associated with the unfamiliarity of handling fentanyl can be deadly," he said. "Please understand that no matter what you may be told, there are consequences for engaging in this type of activity, not to mention the dangers of working with transnational criminal organizations.”
Who was arrested?
At 7:20 p.m. Friday, a CBP officer at the San Ysidro Pedestrian East border crossing arrested a 17-year-old male Mexican citizen. An officer conducting inspections noticed some inconsistencies and conducted a visual search of the teen. Officials found two packages of fentanyl strapped to his back, totaling more than 4 pounds with an estimated street value of $141,000.
The next evening at about 8:20, officers at the San Ysidro Pedestrian West border crossing noticed some discrepancies and arrested a second teenage boy who had two packages of fentanyl strapped to his body. The 15-year-old Mexican citizen was allegedly carrying nearly 5 pounds of the drug with an estimated street value of $143,000.
And then about 10 minutes later at the same border crossing, a 17-year-old male U.S. citizen was arrested by border officers when they discovered two more packages of fentanyl strapped to his body. The bundles weighed just under five pounds with a street value of $143,000.
Last week, officials arrested two teens who allegedly tried to smuggle narcotics across the border in two separate attempts.
On March 27, CBP officers arrested a 16-year-old male U.S. citizen for trying to smuggle five pounds of fentanyl into the country. The estimated street value of the drugs was $150,000.
Two days later, officials arrested a 17-year-old girl after they found eight packages of fentanyl and seven packages of cocaine inside her car when she tried to enter the U.S. at the border. It's unclear whether the girl was a citizen of the U.S. or Mexico.
The weight of the drugs totaled 37 pounds with an estimated street value of $770,000, according to CBP.