Your new Ford Fusion may have an unexpected bag of illicit goodies shipped by train from Mexico to the US.
With some of the world’s richest drug cartels maintaining net worths in the billions, it’s safe to assume that there is plenty of will for these criminals and their organizations to get illicit substances into the country in any way possible. And when there is will, there is way. Unfortunately for automakers with factories in Mexico, the need to ship cars north of the border presents a perfect opportunity for the cartels to hitch a ride, and as an Alpha News investigation has found, Ford is the latest victim.
It all started when the St. Paul Police Department answered a call by a car holding lot in St. Paul, Minnesota concerning two Ford Fusions in the lot. Apparently an inspector for the facility found eighty pounds of marijuana in the spare tire wells in the trunks of the vehicles while he was checking on them prior to loading them up for transport to dealership. This raises eyebrows for the obvious reason that brand new cars straight from the dealership should not have drugs loaded inside of them until after purchased by drug dealers. After investigating further SPPD found that the Fords were part of a 15 car load coming from Mexico and the other twelve had been sent to dealerships.
Police were able to recover all of the pot, but the fact that these types of incidents are not uncommon is telling of a larger problem at hand. Namely, the issue of drug cartels loading drugs into brand new cars built in Mexico and bound for the US in order to sneak them past customs. To pull off the operation, drug cartels would have to have access to the cars at some point between inception to just prior to crossing the border. One possibility is that the cars are loaded with drugs at the factories where assembly workers make little money and are susceptible to bribes or threats by the cartels.
Another is that corrupted shipping company employees have a hand in it for the same reasons, but the regardless of how the operation starts in Mexico, the fact of the matter is that only 4% of commercial shipments are inspected by Customs and Border Patrol. This is because there is a large gap in security of US borders that allows drugs and other black market goods to flow up to the US while guns purchased in the US that are illegal elsewhere are shipped into Mexico, further fueling the drug war. The lesson to take from this? Make sure you check every nook and cranny of your brand new car for drugs prior to driving it because the last thing you want police to think is that you’re a pawn for the cartels, knowingly or not.