A few months ago or so, I got talking with my sister about my time in Latin America.
As I wrote in previous articles like this one, it felt like last year that she took the role in the family in convincing me that life in the US would be better.
Her approach recently has been to mention better job opportunities in the US that would pay more.
Jobs in healthcare for example that could pay at 50,000 or more.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Anyway, I jokingly said to her that maybe I could take on a job that would allow me some time in Latin America and the US.
What type of job?
A drug smuggler!
Now I have no idea how much I could make smuggling drugs into the US…
But I’d reckon maybe 5,000 bucks a trip?
So if we do the math…
Let’s say I do like 20 trips in a month.
That’d last me a good while since my cost of living is only like 700 bucks a month.
That could cover my ass for like 20 years or something at that rate!
A 20 year retirement from having to work from one months of work.
Hell, why stop that?
If every month produces 20 years of retirement…
Then, realistically speaking, I just need to work at it for like 4 months….
And I’m set for life!
Anyway, my sister didn’t appreciate the suggestion all too much.
I think she took me literally and the joke flew over her head because she turned to persuading me that a life as a drug smuggler is a bad idea.
I don’t know…
A life with drugs worked out for Henry Hill from Goodfellas, didn’t it?
But she started saying to me “OK, Matt, but how much would 5,000 alone cover your bills?”
And I did the math “like 7 months?”
“Oh…well, OK then.”
She actually sounded impressed by how well that money would last down here.
Especially since her rent alone is like 1,300 or something.
Either way, as I said, it was just a joke.
Truthfully, I don’t think I’d do well as a drug smuggler.
Though I have been told I have a good poker face!
So if I get questioned at the airport…
I guess I got some skills that’ll work in my favor.
But taking 20 trips in a month to the US might look suspicious…
Regardless, the joke for that came to mind since I saw this video here covering a growing trend of Americans smuggling drugs into the US due to the Covid Recession.
And it got me thinking…
“How many Americans work as drug smugglers into the US?”
We always think of the drug smugglers as being locals down here who work for groups like the cartels and all…
But clearly some Americans and other foreigners are doing this also!
So I figured I’d dedicate an article to it to shed some light on the fact that Americans and other foreigners have a history of trafficking drugs also.
A topic that I admit I have very limited experience reading about…
So this will be a little reading opportunity for me as much as for you.
So let’s get started.
The Video that Inspired It All
Let’s focus first on that video I mentioned above and summarize it for those interested.
Here’s the video again.
Basically, the video starts by looking at how some of the drugs are made by the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.
In the video, the drug makers say that it’s only a little bit harder to bring drugs into the US because of the pandemic but not by much.
Though someone else later in the video explained it’s a bit more difficult to bring the drugs in because they have to rely on Americans to do it and not every American will.
And also there’s more border checks for drugs now.
Then they take the drugs to right to the border in cities like Mexicali.
Before the pandemic, they’d rely more often on Mexicans with visas to the US to bring drugs into the country.
However, due to the pandemic, there is more reliance on unemployed Americans who need money to survive.
At 4:08, they do an interview with one American woman who describes taking on this role to smuggle drugs into the US because she lost her job and couldn’t collect unemployment.
How did she get the job?
In her words, it’s easy to find a job smuggling drugs on the border supposedly.
And she gets paid about 4,000 dollars per trip.
Does she ever worry about getting caught?
In her words, border agents have been suspicious about her before and done extra checks on her vehicle and all.
And another guy later in the video explains how folks taking the drugs in usually get caught after they’ve done it 5 to 10 times…
But some people do this for years and others get caught on the first time.
To transport the meth, it’s explained how the drug smugglers divide the meth into vacuum sealed packages with laundry detergent to hide the smell.
And where do they hide the drugs?
Some guy later said in the video that they put the drugs in the gas tank of one of the vehicles.
And while that American chick in the video explained that she does it due to losing her job…
Sometimes there are Americans who help smuggle drugs for other reasons….
Paying Off Student Loans
Here’s an interesting video to watch.
Probably more relatable to the average millennial with 500,000 in college debt for “18th century Bolivian Gender Studies” or whatever it might be.
This is an American guy who happens to have 130,000 in college debt.
He travelled to Peru during college and learned how cheap cocaine is down there versus in the US.
And once he graduated college…
He felt the pressure of paying off his student loans so he figured he could smuggle cocaine to help pay it off.
And basically starts doing his research on Google regarding things like cheapest countries to buy cocaine in, cocaine purity testing, which airports to go through, etc.
I can’t imagine his Google search history would raise any red flags among authorities…
So after doing some research, he decided to go to Panama to smuggle cocaine into the US.
I wonder how much of the “gringo price” the cocaine dealer gave him for what he paid for…
At any rate, the guy describes then putting all of the cocaine into his body.
Feeling like shit from doing it and having to hurry because his flight out of the country was soon.
Getting through security, he was obviously nervous but got through the scanner just fine in the airport in Panama.
And landed in Florida.
Finally, he got through the airport in Florida and headed to the closest hotel.
But even though he managed to get through the security in Panama and Florida…
He didn’t put the cocaine into his body properly and felt a terrible pain inside his body by the time he was by the hotel.
He tried getting help for his problem.
Ultimately, he survived but faced 21 months in prison.
This is the most entertaining video I saw out of all of them I’ve seen for this article.
Check out the rest of it!
But it’s not just crazy Americans smuggling drugs from Latin America….
The British ex-Cocaine Trafficker
Next up, we have this video here.
Where this British guy named Peter Tristan from a place in England known as Gloucesestershire.
That was hard to spell out.
Where he always took drugs in from South America selling 5 to 10 kilos of cocaine a week.
And then he spent 9 years in prison after being caught in Ecuador in 2005.
His life trafficking drugs involved a lot of danger as you can imagine where he describes people trying to kill him in London or Chile…
Now let’s get to the juicy stuff…
His prison time in Ecuador.
You can find this part of the interview at the 3:41 mark.
In his words, he tried to escape the prison so they transferred him afterwards to apparently the 4th most dangerous prison in South America.
And that prison was split between two gangs that were at war with each other with handguns, explosives and other weapons in the prison.
With 4 to 5 people getting murdered a week.
It got so bad they he ended up employing some people to dig a tunnel for him to get out of the prison.
Sounds a little bit similar to this movie here…
But, unfortunately for him, the tunnel got discovered.
After that incident…
He decided to start smuggling drugs into the prison with the help he had when he realized that the coke being brought in wasn’t very high quality.
So he saw a nice business opportunity, I guess you can say.
And maybe outcompeted the locals?
Typical foreigner, eh?
And what was the worst violence he had seen?
Well, as he put it, he was in the prison when someone put a gun over his shoulder from behind him and shot someone in front of him.
Subsequently, a huge gun fight broke out that lasted two hours.
What I found funny anyway about his interview was near the end when he heard people in England complaining about prisons there.
Complaining about things like the food and all after his time in prison in Ecuador.
Perhaps that’s a side point – your perspective on things does change to a degree after time in Latin America.
And definitely stands out different from those back home.
Anyway, let’s move onto another interesting video.
The Holland-Spain-South America Nexus
Here is an interesting video for you all.
This one is a little bit different in that it doesn’t focus on any particular individual but instead some drug trafficking relationship between a Dutch and South American group.
To summarize the short video…
Basically, you have a Dutch group that is one of the most active ones in Europe trying to distribute cocaine throughout the continent.
And they have connections to South America to do so.
They bring the cocaine into Europe by ports in Spain and other areas.
In which they have individuals who help map out Spain for the best routes to smuggle and distribute the cocaine throughout Europe.
But let’s wrap this article up now.
In this article, I mostly relied on videos from Youtube to give interesting examples of foreigners smuggling drugs into countries like the US or those in Europe.
Mostly so that you all have something interesting to watch instead of just read what I type here.
However, there’s plenty of other interesting material out there in book form regarding drugs being taken by foreigners from Latin America in other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, as I said before, I’m not very familiar with much of it.
So if you have any interesting things for me or others to read, drop a recommendation below.
And drop any comments you have below in the comment section.
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Thanks for reading.