BYLINE: Camaron Abundes
Link to Article
MCALLEN - The DEA needs a lot more space than a small Valley police department evidence locker to handle all the drugs they seize each day.
Beams of light bounce off the bundles of marijuana inside a gray nondescript warehouse. It’s is a temporary holding zone for illegal drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration must incinerate the evidence on a regular basis. The aisles fill up in a matter of weeks.
"In the last five years, things have really picked up in the Rio Grande Valley," said Will Glaspy, who heads up the McAllen district office for the DEA.
Glaspy took CHANNEL 5 NEWS to an undisclosed location to see the story behind the drug seizure statistics. Last year, the DEA seized more than 615,000 pounds of marijuana. That’s enough to fill 16 tractor-trailers full of the illegal drugs.
Glaspy said law enforcement is making more busts because of added resources. He added they're also working closely with their counterparts in Mexico.
"It's a game of cat and mouse, always has been. They'll try something new until we catch onto it then they'll try new trends in trafficking after that," explained Glaspy.
DEA watches what drug smugglers are doing in the Valley. The agents also eye the trends down south.
"We don't think the cartels are staging their drugs in Mexico as long as they used to. Now as soon as they get their drugs up to their northern border, they're trying to get those across the river and out of the Rio Grande Valley as quickly as possible," said Glaspy.
The desperation among smugglers may be fueling the rise in seizures. In 2011, the DEA nearly doubled its intake from fiscal year 2010. Glaspy said the local, state and federal departments are sharing information too.
"Everybody works closely with one another; everyone shares their information and intelligence," Glaspy told us.
The warehouse provides a window into a world many will never see. The effects of the drug war can be felt in every corner of the Rio Grande Valley. Glaspy said it will only take a few weeks to fill the warehouse up.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
International Association for Property and Evidence
"Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement"