Photo: Simon Doggett via flickr
Ana Isela Martinez has taught for years at the U.S. La Fe Preparatory school, where she is known to her fourth graders as Miss Ana. Everyone was shocked in May when she was arrested crossing the border with over 100 pounds of pot in her trunk.Reuters reports Miss Ana’s arrest finally tipped off authorities that innocent Mexican residents — with special express border crossing permits — are being targeted by cartels to unknowingly smuggle drugs into the U.S.
In Miss Ana’s case, cartel operatives watched the teacher for a year as she made her way back and forth across the Juarez/El Paso border with a permit allowing her to bypass customs.
Cartel members purchased the key cut code for her car, made a duplicate trunk key, and stashed 105 pounds of marijuana in her vehicle.
She is one of at least a half-dozen law abiding Mexican residents arrested and convicted of smuggling under exactly the same circumstances.
Despite an FBI investigation confirming the innocence of the accused, many remain convicted and serving time in jail. Martinez spent six weeks locked up and is still petitioning for the return of her immigration status.
Reuters reports that many drivers have taken to checking their own trunks before crossing into Texas.
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