Mexican drug cartels are hijacking and cloning legitimate trucks so they can smuggle drugs and people into the U.S..
The U.S. Homeland Security Department issued this warning in October.
“Drug traffickers also have been known to hijack and clone legitimate commercial trucks to transport illicit cargo across the border.”
In July, state and federal law enforcement officials found a fake California Highway Patrol truck with several undocumented immigrants hidden inside. The truck had a flat tire and the driver was nowhere to be found. The CHP Departmental Bulletin said,
A DISABLED DODGE PICKUP TRUCK EQUIPPED WITH FUNCTIONAL EMERGENCY LIGHTS, CHP LOGOS AND PAINTED TO RESEMBLE A CHP COMMERCIAL MOBILE ROAD ENFORCEMENT TRUCK WAS FOUND TO BE OCCUPIED WITH NINE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS.In 2009, the Texas Department of Transportation warned that Mexican drug smugglers cloned a TXDOT truck. According to Colorado5.com, a TXDOT employee saw what he thought was a TXDOT truck. When the driver didn't wave back at him, the employee noticed the reflective stripes on the back of the vehicle was wrong. Colorado5.com reported,
Investigators in south and east Texas have busted two different individuals who they say were using fake TxDOT trucks to smuggle marijuana across the state. One man was arrested and charged in east Texas near Yokum with drug possession. Other charges are pending. ...TXDOT isn't sure how long the illegal operation has been going on nor do they know how far it extends. The state agency is warning its employees that they may be pulled over by police just to make sure they're legitimate.Meanwhile, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., told Inside US Trade that Mexico is a “state failing in so many ways” that it's questionable whether the Mexican government could enforce highway safety laws. DeFazio would also prefer to renegotiate Nafta so we don't have to open the border. According to Inside US Trade,
Although NAFTA calls for reciprocal access for the U.S. and Mexico to each others' markets, few U.S. trucking companies have expressed an interest in operating in Mexico due to safety concerns, including drug violence, police corruption and poor road conditions, DeFazio said. As a result, he argued that a new trucking program would amount to “just another one-way trade deal,” and said this is one reason to maintain the status quo.