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Growing Number of Young Men Caught with Narcotics at Border


A growing number of teens and young men with narcotics  taped to their bodies have been caught in recent months trying to cross the  border at San Diego-area ports of entry, authorities announced today.

Federal agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection began noticing  the upswing last August, said Vincent Bond, a spokesman for the agency.

From August to February, federal agents at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa  ports of entry apprehended 157 teen and adult pedestrians entering the United  States from Mexico with illegal drugs hidden under their clothing, compared to  just 23 for the same period the previous year, Bond said.

The drugs that were found included 285 pounds of marijuana, 1.2 pounds  of heroin, 4.7 pounds of cocaine and more than nine pounds of methamphetamine.  Most of the drug seizures involved Mexican males with narcotics taped to their  torsos, according to Bond.

The increase was most prevalent in San Ysidro.

"Although strapping narcotics to a traveler's torso is not a new  smuggling technique, apprehensions since last August have burgeoned 811 percent  at San Ysidro and 316 percent at Otay Mesa compared to the same period the  previous year when officers discovered a total of 23 pedestrians entering local  ports with concealed narcotics," Bond said.

Almost 75 percent of the male travelers found with drugs under their  clothing from last August to February were under the age of 29, while 25  percent were under the age of 18, according to Bond.

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