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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trucking Companies Try To Prevent Contraband Cargo

At a truck yard in Otay Mesa, a security guard checks for drugs hidden underneath a truck. Smugglers have been known to attach drugs to the underside of vehicles with powerful magnets.(Roland Lizarondo/Fronteras Desk)

At a truck yard in Otay Mesa, a security guard checks for drugs hidden underneath a truck. Smugglers have been known to attach drugs to the underside of vehicles with powerful magnets.(Roland Lizarondo/Fronteras Desk)

In recent years, cross-border trucking from Mexico into the U.S. has boomed, with more than 5 million truck crossings in 2012.

On Sept. 6, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa commercial port of entry discovered 1,623 lbs. of marijuana in a shipment of limes. (Customs and Border Protection)

On Sept. 6, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa commercial port of entry discovered 1,623 lbs. of marijuana in a shipment of limes. (Customs and Border Protection)

For drug smugglers, getting a truckload of illegal narcotics past border authorities means potentially huge profits. At the San Diego port of entry, half of the drugs seized are discovered in cargo trucks.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jill Replogle of Fronteras Desk reports on the role of cross-border trucking in the movement of goods north, and how the federal government and private trucking companies are trying to secure their loads against ever-changing smuggling strategies.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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