by JAQUELINE GRAJEDA
Recently in San Diego, drug deals have found a new way to smuggle drugs. The drugs are put into a container that is held by a powerful magnet. They have installed this magnet under ‘Trusted Travelers” vehicles to take the attention away. In Southern California, on January 12, a container was seen under one of the vehicles and was assumed to be a bomb. The police rushed to the Chevron and checked the container; there they found 13.2 pounds of heroin.
There have been three more cases in which cars have had the containers under their car. Authorities have noticed that the cars that are involved in the drug smuggling are enrolled in the SENTRI program. This program is well known, and it stands for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection. Only about 5.9 million members traveled four years earlier. Recently this year there has been over 12 million members and their vehicles traveling. The program basically gives people permission to travel without getting checked. This is because the people who are currently in it have had background checks to make sure they have a clean record.
The reason many people have enrolled into this program is because it makes traveling quicker. Instead of waiting during the rush hour it only takes about 15 minutes to cross the nations busiest crossing. Some people do not volunteer to help smuggle drugs over. Many people who are targeted are those that are being watched. Smugglers have a system they use, it includes watching how long a car is parked and left for. When they feel it is time they magnetize containers under the cars. It takes less than a minute to attach and detach these containers, nobody would notice.
Aldo Vereo, a member of the SENTRI,gives his input, “ It’s a concern for everyone,not as big a concern for me because I’m careful. People should be worried because they go straight home and straight to work.” Alejandra Mieran executive director says, “ Criminals are savvy, and they know they are part of a program where they are not checked as much.” Around 29 motorist have been detected to be unwillingly transporting drugs under their vehicles. Authorities have been trying to get a closer look under these vehicles to make sure there are no drugs being transported at anytime.