While it was once took an elaborate scheme to run drugs across the United States without being swallowed by a pounding fear that you, or a nervous crew member, might be eaten alive by a snarling pack of overzealous cops—it appears times have changed.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, it is now easier for the long arm of the law to bring the hammer down on illegal drug smugglers because, somewhere along the way, the charge of the old fashion dope mule got lazy. Now, these fiends are taking little to no precaution to diminish their chances of ending up face down along a stretch of highway with a gun jammed in their backs before being cuffed and carted off to the local slammer.
In just two weeks, troopers scouring the Utah highways have uncovered 110 pounds of meth, 75 pounds of marijuana, two pounds of hash, five pounds of heroin, 79 grams of prescription narcotics and a pistol, reports Fox 13.
It’s not that these cops were brought into this world with the snouts of hungry hounds, but rather, the average drug peddler seems to have given up on the dying art of discretion.
“They used to put it into a spare tire, or the fuel tank, not—it’s just in the backseat or luggage in the trunk,” said Lieutenant Jared Garcia of the Utah Highway Patrol, adding that this level of carelessness is very new.
What appears to have sucked the sophistication out of the black market dope distribution game can be attributed to money, or a lack thereof, Garcia said. Law enforcement analysts seem to think that it is no longer financially feasible for drug dealers to invest in clandestine methods of transport. Instead, these individuals would rather take their chances in prison.
“Initially, we found it to be very weird, but as we’ve started to investigate further we’ve found the prices of those narcotics have gone down,” Garcia said. “Whereas five years ago, we have found people were paying $10,000, $12,000 for a pound of meth, and now they are paying $1,500 to $2,000. The risk of losing those narcotics to law enforcement is lessened.”
To put the latest phenomenon of nonchalant narcotics smuggling into perspective, Utah law enforcement officials say they only seized around 500 pounds of meth throughout the entire course of last year. But they are already well on their way to surpassing that haul, having confiscated more than a 100 pounds of meth in the first several weeks of 2017.
Since many of these cases involve interstate drug trafficking, they can be prosecuted under federal law, which comes with hefty mandatory minimum sentences (five-to-10 years) and ridiculously steep fines. However, even at the state level—depending on the substance—some of these folks are still facing five years to life in prison and fines reaching $10,000.
Moral of the story: Hide your shit!