Woman accused of using son, 13, to smuggle drugs across border at El Paso

EL PASO, Texas — A woman is accused of trying to smuggle drugs at the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso by strapping them to the body of her 13-year-old son, customs officials said.

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According to a news release, on Oct. 21, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized several bundles of methamphetamine and fentanyl, which the boy was carrying. The child accompanied his 31-year-old mother, who is a U.S. citizen, along with his two siblings, ages 12 and 5.

The vehicle the family was driving was stopped at 7 a.m. at the Ysleta Port of Entry for a secondary inspection. A dug-sniffing dog was alerted to the presence of drugs on the front passenger seat of the car, CBP officials said. Officers noticed that the 13-year-old boy had a “square-shaped item protruding from his back,” the news release stated.

“Smugglers will use any method they can to attempt to smuggle drugs,” CBP Ysleta Port Director Arnoldo Gomez said. “Unfortunately, in this case, a mother used her 13-year-old son in her attempt to deceive CBP officers.”

The bundles contained 2.25 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.1 pounds of fentanyl, according to the news release. The woman was arrested and her children were released to a family member.