Motor carriers received a stark reminder earlier this month that cross-border trucking presents special challenges when U.S. prosecutors announced the arrest of 19 members of Mexican drug organizations who allegedly transported drugs in PVC pipes concealed inside tractor-trailer axles.
The arrests, made public Aug. 15 by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, came with the claim that cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin were smuggled into the United States using random trucking companies.
The indictments come after a two-year investigation by a Southern California-based federal drug task force. Additional members of drug organizations still may be arrested, officials said.
“The allegations here describe a wide-ranging conspiracy to exploit aspects of our nation’s trucking and transportation system and funnel enormous amounts of dangerous narcotics into this country,” André Birotte Jr., U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said when the arrests were announced.
The investigation started in 2011 after federal agents…
By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the Aug. 26 print edition of Transport Topics.