Texas-Mexico Border Sees Increased Meth Seizures

For the second consecutive year, seizures of methamphetamine in the Laredo customs district -- the country's busiest land port --  climbed significantly, an indication that drug cartels continue to bank on sales of the drug in the U.S. despite vigilant enforcement efforts on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border.

And with the cartels' ability to produce methamphetamine year-round in Mexico, drug enforcement officials say shipments of the narcotic are unlikely to ebb even if they ratchet up targeted efforts against such shipments.

Customs and Border Protection agents working the Laredo district, which extends from Del Rio to Brownsville, seized more than a ton of the addictive narcotic, about 2,200 pounds, in fiscal year 2012, according to year-end statistics released this month. The amount represents a 116 percent increase over fiscal year 2011's total, which was a 34 percent jump compared with 2010's seizure total.

The figures are part of an overall trend on the Texas-Mexico border in which -- despite the Mexican government's efforts to curb organized-crime activity there since 2006 -- drugs continue to flow northward as demand in the U.S. continues unabated. CBP officers in Texas, who monitor the flow of goods and people at Texas ports, seized a total of 1.7 million pounds in narcotics last fiscal year, more than agents in Arizona, New Mexico and California combined. The 2011 total for Texas was about 1.5 million pounds.

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