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A Drug Smuggler's Story

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico -- Along the Mexican border, people generally try to avoid drug traffickers. We went looking for one.

With the help of a veteran journalist in Juarez, we meet Jose Lucio Hernandez, a former smuggler. Hernandez says he snuck drugs into Texas about 400 times by driving across the international port of entry between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

It is impossible to verify everything he says, but his rap sheet confirms he was in the business. Hernandez was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after being busted on July 22, 2005 with 185 pounds of marijuana in El Paso. He boasts that he was good at what he did. Hernandez says he always made it across the border undetected. It was only when he lived in the United States that he got caught.

We meet Hernandez at a drug treatment center, where he was working as a volunteer. In his ballcap, polo shirt and blue jeans, Hernandez, 25, doesn’t look like the classic narco, the guy with a gold tooth and dark shades.

In the video, Hernandez says that he crossed the border daily. He would drive with dope right through U.S. immigration and customs. Agents often searched his car, looking for drugs in hidden cavities, but never found anything.

Hernandez laughs when asked if the government could ever stop drugs from entering the United States.

By William Booth and Travis Fox  |  June 17, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
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Soooo .... if Jose Lucio Hernandez wasn't hiding drugs in hidden cavities how did he manage to smuggle drug into the USA?
What amount did he normally smuggle into the country?
More importantly did he bribe border or DEA agents?

Legalize marijuana and half the drug problem in America would be solved.

Posted by: knjincvc | June 17, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The DEA and other "law enforcement" officers can't even keep drugs out of our State and Federal Prisons, let alone the USA. This is a perpetual war that is loosing ground. Just keep doing the same thing over and over, we are bound to get different results.

Posted by: notabeliever | June 17, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Where is the story? The brief bit of text and clip seem like an advertisement.

I want the whole story WP.

Posted by: adam1mc | June 17, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If asked the same question, I would have laughed also. The more difficult it is to get drugs, the more the expense and in turn the profits and incentive. Since pot and meth can be grown and manufactured respectively in the US, even if you keep out all the drugs (almost impossible), there are home grown sources of some drugs (no pun intended). Considering the extent of our borderies and the amounts of goods shipped into this country, how can the US ever control and stop the flow? As mentioned in past articles, smugglers are even using subs now to get the drugs into the US and they have been successful in doing so. Good luck stopping the supply, when the demand is so high.

Posted by: DrWho2 | June 17, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It is very interesting that this man got only 18 months for trying to bring 185 pounds of marijuana into the country, while just this week it has been speculated that a 24 year old man, a junior at the U.S. Naval Academy, will get 15 years hard labor at Leavenworth. Why the disparity?

Posted by: realgrrl | June 18, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

waterboard him until he comes clean.

Posted by: californicationdude | June 19, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Please use "sneaked" as past tense of "sneak."
SNUCK is vernacular!

Posted by: IIntgrty | June 19, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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