Security expert warns of smuggling via prescreened trucks

| 11/23/2009

Prescreened Mexican trucks account for 6 percent of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism traffic, but account for half of all the security violations. One homeland security analyst says that the CT-PAT program that expedites Mexican border crossings for prescreened companies and drivers is being exploited by drug traffickers.

David McIntyre, director of Integrative Center for Homeland Security at Texas A&M University, says drug trafficking, illegal immigration and Mexican border gang violence are just symptoms of a bigger problem. He is quoted in an Associated Press story on Monday that says drug gangs are sometimes targeting the prescreened trucks, then intimidating or bribing the drivers and loading the trailers with tons of marijuana.

He told OOIDA’s radio show, Land Line Now on Sirius-XM,that that problem is corruption.

“You can’t have $40 or $60 billion worth of products being smuggled across the border and nobody sees anything. Somebody knows. Some landowners know what’s crossing. Some people at the crossing points recognize it. Some law enforcement officials see it, some judges, some mayors, somebody knows. And those people are helping to put pressure on others,” said McIntyre.

“CT-PAT’s a great idea but heads up to anybody who is a long-haul trucker and routinely crossing the border,” warned McIntyre. “If you haven’t been approached, sooner or later you’re going to be. That’s just the logic of the situation.”

McIntyre is currently running for Congress from the 17th district in central Texas.

– By Reed Black, staff writer