The DEA is focused on intercepting drug rings and arresting those who are
dealing illegal narcotics within the state of Texas. Because of this,
they constantly head to the Texas border and catch individuals smuggling
a variety of different addictive substances into the United States. Yet
the constant drug busts, court cases, and jailing are taking a toll on
the Texas treasury. According to a recent article on NPR, a checkpoint
located 85 miles southeast of El Paso causes constant checks and a string
of arrests. Recently, a sheriff seized 5,000 pounds of marijuana from
smugglers that were stopped at this checkpoint.
The constant checkpoint has put a severe financial strain on the county,
and has revealed that it costs more than expected to enhance border security
and curb the nation's supply of illegal drugs. In 2011, agents in
the Big Bend Sector where the drug checkpoint is located were able to
apprehend 2,102 people e with drugs. This is the second-highest number
of arrests at any sector across the nation. The amount of arrests has
risen about 300% based on data that was collected in 2009 by The Center
for Investigative Reporting.
Interestingly enough, this checkpoint was originally set up to regulate
illegal immigration. Instead, the border patrol agents have arrested thousands
of Americans with illegal drugs. Because of the costs of the arrests and
the court trials, the U.S. Justice Department has a tendency to decline
prosecution in these low-level cases. Local officials in the county surrounding
this particular checkpoint say that they don't want to be known as
a location where crimes go unpunished.
Yet with the expenses of prosecution being what they are, the county has
generally had to let drug offenders go free when they crimes are not serious.
If you have been arrested for a low-level drug crime, this financial strain
may be a benefit to you in your case. Contact a
Texas drug defense lawyer if you want more information about this situation. Read more about the
Texas budget and drug prosecution here.