Eighty percent of Border Patrol drug arrests in recent years involved American citizens, according to a new report. The findings are contrary to public perceptions that most drug couriers are Mexican, according to ABC News.
The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) found 75 percent of people arrested with drugs along the U.S.-Mexican border were U.S. citizens, and 80 percent of drug busts involved at least one U.S. citizen.
“There’s no argument that Mexico-based crime organizations dominate drug smuggling into the United States. But the public message that the Border Patrol has trumpeted for much of the last decade, mainly through press releases about its seizures, has emphasized Mexican drug couriers, or mules, as those largely responsible for transporting drugs,” CIR stated.
The report examined records for 81,261 drug seizures between 2005 and 2011. In about half of the cases, Border Patrol did not catch anyone, and the drugs were abandoned. Of the arrests made in more than 40,000 drug seizures, a U.S. citizen was involved in 80 percent of cases.
Marijuana accounted for 95 percent of drugs seized by Border Patrol in 2011, the report found.