San Diego

Drug Cartels Aim to Recruit Teens, Especially in South Bay: U.S. Attorney's Office

Drug cartels have been recruiting high school students, especially in South Bay, to traffic dangerous substances like fentanyl across the border, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Last March, there were six local cases involving juveniles smuggling fentanyl.

Often times, students are recruited by fellow classmates who lure them in by promising hundreds of dollars if they tape drugs on themselves and cross the U-S, Mexico border.

“The problem is bigger because when someone is offered $400 to smuggle drugs, and your family is struggling, that money is very important to the family,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson.

Hobson is part of a coalition that includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security Investigations, and the District Attorney’s Office.

The group is letting juveniles know the risks associated with drug trafficking.

“Your mom is going to be very upset. Your community is going to be very upset,” Hobson said.

The increase of fentanyl in San Diego has caused issues for local law enforcement and crime labs.

The issue of juvenile drug trafficking has grown so rapidly, the coalition is putting on a prevention program aimed at high school students and parents.

The prevention program will be at the Chula Vista Public Library on November 15 at 6 p.m.

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