Four of five Border Patrol drug busts involve US citizens, records show

Posted on March 29, 2013

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There’s no argument that Mexico-based crime organizations dominate drug smuggling into the United States. But the public message that the Border Patrol has trumpeted for much of the last decade, mainly through press releases about its seizures, has emphasized Mexican drug couriers, or mules, as those largely responsible for transporting drugs.

It turns out that the Border Patrol catches more American citizens with drugs than it does Mexican couriers, according to an analysis of records obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Three out of four people found with drugs by the border agency are U.S. citizens, the data show. Looked at another way, when the immigration status is known, 4 out of 5 busts – which may include multiple people – involve a U.S. citizen.

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