Mexican Drug Cartels Using TikTok to Lure Texas Teens to Aid in Human Smuggling
There is no denying that human smuggling has turned into a major issue in the United States. Here in Texas, many human smuggling victims are brought into the country over the border from Mexico. Anyone involved in human smuggling faces serious criminal charges if caught, but now comes news that Mexican drug cartels are enticing Texas teenagers to become involved in these dangerous smuggling operations, putting the teens at risk of not only facing arrest but also the potential for serious injury in the process.
TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms for teens. Criminal Mexican cartels are taking advantage of this popularity and using the platform to attract teenagers into bringing illegal migrants into Texas.
According to an investigation conducted by a major news network, the cartels advertise on TikTok, offering teens one thousand dollars to drive the illegal migrants to Houston. Many of these migrants are actually drug cartel members or they have criminal records. Instead of surrendering to border authorities or being screened by immigration officials before being released, these migrants being smuggled are attempting to avoid apprehension because of their criminal histories and would be not allowed into the country by border patrol.
Once a teen answers an ad, they drive to the border and then make a dangerous dash to Houston, avoiding border patrol along the way. In one case, a 16-year-old teen – with no valid license – piled 13 illegal immigrants in a truck and sped off at 70 m.p.h. The teen’s goal was to earn $13,000 for this run, but instead, he ended up driving his truck into a ditch. Everyone in the truck was injured in the crash and all were apprehended by border patrol agents.
Human Smuggling Penalties
A person who is accused of human smuggling could face federal or state charges. Under Texas law, harboring an illegal immigrant with the intent to cross the border could result in a third-degree felony charge. Receiving funds for that act could result in even more charges and harsher penalties. Even just receiving gas money could fall under that category. A conviction of these charges could bring with it a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Contact a Collin County Defense Attorney
If you or someone in your family is facing human smuggling charges, it is critical to retain the services of a Plano, TX criminal lawyer to fight against these charges. A conviction could have a major impact on your future, including significant prison time. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how our firm can help.