Evidence continues to mount showing that Juárez drug-cartel activities are spilling into El Paso.

First, there were gangs and drugs. Now it's unsuspecting young people who don't know drugs have been secreted in vehicles they drive into El Paso.

This indicates another layer of ruthlessness by the cartels. Activities had been basically limited to criminals working with criminals. Now innocents are being used.

The Mexican Consulate says drug cartels are using classified ads in Juárez newspapers to recruit unsuspecting young people to work as "messengers."

The ads are vaguely worded. One example was a supposed junkyard company that asked for drivers who would go to El Paso a couple of times a week.

The ads normally require that a person have a laser visa, a Mexican election certificate, a driver's license and a birth certificate. Authorities said the phone numbers listed were cell phones.

One ad offered work in El Paso, for both sexes, that would pay $400.

To an unwary young person, who has the needed paperwork to cross the border freely, that's a lot of money.

Someone apparently outed one operation, a girl trying to drive a vehicle with a trailer into El Paso. She was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, who appeared to be waiting for her. A witness said, " ... Officers came out of everywhere."

This is apparently a new method of transporting drugs. The Mexican Consulate reports the problem was identified less than a year ago.

First, it was drug dealers, themselves, sneaking contraband across the border. They were in cahoots with gangs operating in El Paso.

Then youngsters were openly recruited to carry the contraband. They were told the chances of being caught by authorities were slim, and the pay was good.

Now it's come to using innocent people who, if stopped by CBP, don't know they are carrying drugs and most likely don't know who laded the contraband into the vehicle.

So far the actual drug-cartel violence -- the multitude of execution-style killings -- remains in Juárez.

But, step by step, the cartels are using newer and newer ways to ply their illegal trade, and that's scary.


Submitted by EGH in El Paso.