Drug Mules in the USA Essay Sample
The United States drug market is one of the most booming in the world it is one of the most profitable drug markets in the world. This is according to statistics that have been gathered over years. A large group of illegal drugs consumers exists in the USA and this is the force behind the activities of drug traffickers who are famously known as mules. Since a good market for the drugs exists in the United States the drug traffickers have developed sophisticated, aggressive and sometimes ruthless cartels to conduct and control the trade. The activities of the drug traffickers take place under the noses of security forces who have continually failed to root out the presence of the mules in the country. This can be said to be as a result of the mule’s sophisticated operations that most of the time leave the security forces cheated. The activities of the mules take place across the borders and are boosted by the huge volume of trade that takes place in the ports, border points and even airports of the United States. Drug traffickers hide illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine etc among legal goods that are cargo in the process of getting them into the country (Contrada 2008).
Drug mules in the United States
Drug mules in the United States use many methods to transport the drugs. There are many and diverse groups involved in he trafficking and each develop their own ingenious methods of trafficking. The drug traffickers are very discreet in their operations they look for people who can deliver the drugs with the least suspicion. The mules who are used to transport the drugs are not necessarily criminals but some of them are forced into the drug syndicate by dealers (Buxton 2006). Police have revealed incidences whereby women have been forced to get into the business of mules in the United States and other nations. For instance in Canada in the year 2000 a 21 year old lady, Marijana was declared not guilty for crimes of importing into the country heroin weighing two kilograms. This decision of the court was reached when it was established that she trafficked the drugs under the command of an international trafficker believed to be a dangerous member of the armed groups of Yugoslavia, her home country. The man had threatened to kill the mother to Marijana if she did not comply with the trafficking venture.
Another group that is actively involved in the task of mules is illegal immigrants. The USA has over five million residents who are illegal immigrants which makes about two percent of the total population. Some of this people have been smuggled into the country as human cargo. This human cargo is often used as mules by drug traffickers who are their handlers in the journey from their countries of origin.
As noted earlier the mules chosen are people who pass for good people. Drug traffickers look for people with their own homes, work, and people who have no criminal record. They neither recruit people who have abused drugs into a state of having tell-tale signs of the drug use.
Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the use of mules by drug traffickers has been on the rise. The security beefing that followed the attacks had the effect of detracting the traffickers from using the usual shipment of narcotics into the country.
It is no wonder that the United Nations statistics on drug and crime for the present years show that one in every ten passengers from Jamaica going to the UK traffics drugs.
Most of those people used as drug mules come from impoverished livelihoods. For instance most of the Jamaican drug mules are single mothers who are poor.
Drug traffickers recruit male traffickers and even children to perform the task of drug mules. These groups are used to traffic cocaine that arrives in the ports of Canada into the United States and into other parts of Canada. In 1998 a number of children from Honduras were arrested with pellets of cocaine that they had ingested.
Drug Mule’s modes of operation
The heroin narcotic most of the time is put into plastic wrappers and swallowed by the drug mules. The package of the drug often bursts in the stomachs of the drug mules and it usually results in death. According to Hyde 2003 drug mules swallow the drugs before they leave the country they get the drugs from. Usually ten capsules or packets of the drug are swallowed with each of the m containing a hundred grams. At times even more quantities of the drug are carried hidden in false bottoms or in luggage; camouflaged inside various kinds of containers or even glued to the body. The drug mules are paid more if they travel more carrying the drugs for the drug dealers. Most of the illegal narcotics that are imported into the country are done by large shipments that are operated by groups responsible from organized crime. The shipments arrive at well thought periods of the year and with it come a fleet of drug mules. The large number mules is useful for the drug traffickers as those who get caught divert attention of the security forces and give a leeway for the others to escape.
Some of the drugs that come to the United States come from Peru. The sheer struggle with the security forces and the indifference to the high penalty comes from the fact that, once in the United States, the drugs fetch a high price hence the drug mules are assured of good pay and the drug traffickers of good profits (Hyde 2003).
Ingesting the drugs is not an easy feat. Those who become drug mules practice swallowing the drugs by swallowing things like eggs that are boiled hard or carrots. The drug mules take laxatives to make a big room for the ingestion of as many drugs as possible before they embark on the journey back to the United States. They use other kinds of drugs that ensure they don’t feel like going for long calls. This blockage takes place till they reach their destination country where they take other chemicals to relieve themselves.
Operating areas of the mules
In the first instance, most of the mules who are recruited are people who before are readily members of the underworld of drug dealing. Drug dealers commonly recruit mules from partying places such as discos and exclusive clubs. They use a number of routes to penetrate the country. Some of the routes are through Mexico; by land, by maritime way; in the west and east coasts, sea routes in the Caribbean side and also across the country’s border south west among other points. Drug traffickers who are based in the west smuggle drugs via the airlines. This is the greatest traffickers of the drug MDMA that is referred in the streets as Ecstasy. The drugs are brought in as express packages or are carried on human couriers. Heroin traffickers from the East Asia use the route of New York City.
In the process of smuggling the drugs from one part of the world to the other a smuggler is involved. Police checks to find the drugs are situated strategically in the points where the drugs are brought in and the points where they leave the country.
Drug mules operate from areas that are inconspicuous to the public and the security forces. However the drug mules work more to keep a clean image in the eyes of the common public and the security forcers more than running away from them. They are very smart in their method of carrying out assignments as they content against the best police agents who are posted in the points of entry and departure. In this case the drug traffickers keep a brave face while carrying out their activities such that no one would suspect them. Police admit that a large number of the mules escape the dragnet of the police. One of the tricks that the drug traffickers use is that of changing the mules often that the police in the points of delivery cannot detect them.(Boyd 2008)
How Drug mules get caught
Most of the arrests that occur to drug mules happen in the entry points of the drugs into the country. This is due to the enhanced security that ids found in these areas. Some of the drug Mules is betrayed by their own bosses as they are used as decoys to distract attention from other traffickers who smuggle much more asset of the drug.
Buxton 2006 says that the war on drugs that takes place in the consumer countries such as the USA is aimed at the people who are caught for the possession of the drugs and convicted for the same. This is the low-level distribution on the street or drug mules.
Statistics show that women drug traffickers from the island of Jamaica account for nine percent in the population of England’s female prisoners. This indicates that the drug mules are often caught in the act of smuggling the drugs.
There is a lackluster approach to the issue of drug dealers on the part of the security forces. They never take their time to address the question of who the drug dealer is. They take in to custody drug traffickers who are nabbed in the various checkpoints and stop at that in most cases. These arrests do little to address the issue of drug trafficking since the drug dealers are left free to continue with the illegal trade (Boyd 2008).
Once the dealers in the drug trade are caught they face a sentence that can be as great as a life imprisonment.
The work of the drug mules, as seen in the discussion above is a risky affair. The risks involved range from arrests to the risk of the drugs that are carried by means of the stomach bursting and causing harm on the drug mule. Another risk lies in the area of being set up to the authorities by ones own bosses or co-smugglers. The drug mules however, understand these risks and do their best to ensure they avoid them. This avoidance however does not eliminate the risks as they are not foolproof. The mules continue to suffer abusing circumstances from their employers in the cases where the mules are originally immigrants who resort to the illegal business. Over and above courting death, the mules risk being jailed for long periods of time that can be as great as sentences to life in prison. The mules are seen to be forced into the trade by their poverty or demeaning circumstances such as homelessness.
In extreme cases the Mules are forced by threats from drug dealers. It can be seen that the circumstances hat motivate most of the drug mules are far from voluntary. Only those drug traffickers who get into the business willingly should be blamed when caught. It must be remembered that the actions of the mules are at the expense of the society as those who use the drugs affect the society negatively. Another challenge into the problem rests with the population who are great consumers of the drugs. The high demand of the illegal drugs provides a lucrative trade for the mules hence they cannot easily resist the temptation to stay on. The battle against drug trafficking can only is successful if the target of the forces of the state is the big drug dealers who hire, intimidate or trick the mules into the illegal business. In bringing the bosses of the drug trade to book the problem of the mules will be eliminated as they will have no supplies to trade with. The fight needs to be coordinated with the cooperation of all the anti-narcotics arms in the land. Such a move would be a big step towards rooting the menace of drug trafficking that the mules are but hapless agents.
Boyd C. (2008). Hooked: Drug War Films of Britain, Canada, and the United States. Routledge, New York.
Buxton J. (2006) The Political Economy of Narcotics: Production, Consumption and Global Markets. Zed Books. London.
Contrada J. (2008). The Facts about Drugs and Society. Marshall Cavendish. Oxford
Hyde M. (2003). Drugs 101: An Overview for Teens. Twenty-First Century Books. Illinois.