Increase In Juvenile Smugglers, Allegedly Promised Short Sentence If Caught
Authorities say criminal organizations convince minors to cross narcotics illegally by telling them they will have a short sentence because they are underage.
Rose Gomez, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department, tells Fox News criminal groups promise minors a lot of money and assure them that if they are caught crossing drugs, authorities will not take them to court because of their age
“It’s usually 60 to 90 days they are here in our detention center after that then if the courts determine they are mature enough sophisticated seriousness of the offense because they are smuggling large quality of drugs, then they are what we call certified as an adult.”
Gomez adds these young adults only do it for the money because smugglers allegedly pay them a few hundred dollars for every trip they make crossing narcotics across the border.
“These kids are promised 200 dollars thinking that nothing going to happen and they get to go back. Many of them don’t want to do it because they just feel like they are forced to based on whoever addressed them.”
Gomez says the numbers are alarming. At the moment, they have 32 minors detained with drug trafficking charges. 17 of them have already been tried as adults and are waiting to be transferred to the county jail.
Minors under the age of 16 are put under conditional freedom, after fulfilling their conviction they are rehabilitated and are deported to their county of origin. In case they return to the country, they would be violating their conditional freedom and the charges would increase automatically.
Authorities say the charges for trafficking drugs are the same for both minors and adults.