Drug smugglers are always inventing new ways to trick individuals into carrying drugs across the border for them. It is better for the smugglers if the person doesn't know they are carrying drugs because the smuggler doesn't have to pay them and the border crosser will not appear to be nervous.
I have blogged about the projector cases. In my office we have recently been able to obtain dismissal of two of these cases. The scam involves convincing the individual who is hired that they are working for a tourist company. They are told to carry a projector across the border, and the projector contains drugs.
Recently, in Tijuana and Mexicali the smugglers have become more sophisticated. They are still hiring “photographers” to take pictures ostensibly for publicity. They groom the individual by having them first take pictures in Mexico and later in the United States. They require the person hired to supply identification and an address, which can later be used to instill fear in the person when they are caught with drugs.
The drugs are now put in a “safety kit” that includes items that would be helpful if the car breaks down. The drugs are usual hidden in a battery or jumper cables. Often, the person who crosses drugs does it several times without knowing that they are carrying metamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, or cocaine into the United States.
DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM!!!! Here are some “red flags” that the job is not legitmate.
1. Is the pay much higher than would be reasonably expected?
2. Are you required to carry items such as a projector or a safety kit that is not necessary to the work?
3. A website is not enough. Does the company have a real office that is not a coffee shop, a bar, or another meeting place.?
4. Did the job come from an announcement in FaceBook?
5. Does the company have businesses licenses in Mexico and the United States?
Never carry anything across the border from Mexico into the United States without personally inspecting it. If somehow you become a victim to this scam or a similar one, DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE. They will try to secure admissions from you that you should have known there were drugs in the vehicle.
Use your common sense. If you feel something is not right, then you are probably right.
If you are a loved one falls victim to this scam, call our Law Office immediately. We have a great deal of experience helping “blind mules.”