I-35 corridor for drug trafficking

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
Many of us drive I-35 almost every single day. You see speeders, texting and driving, maybe even drunk drivers. But what about drug smugglers?

I-35 is one of five drug corridors found in Texas. It's a super highway for drug trafficking starting at the Mexico border in Laredo and running all the way north to Chicago.

TEMPLE, TEXAS (KCEN) - Many of us drive I-35 almost every single day. You see speeders, texting and driving, maybe even drunk drivers. But what about drug smugglers?

It's actually more common than you may think.

There's no doubt it's a busy interstate with 100,000 vehicles traveling just between Hill and Bell counties each day.

Angela Garner is one of those un-noticed I-35 daily drivers. But blending in alongside her are drug smugglers.

"It's a big issue you know, I live in Eddy and we see people all the time on the news being stopped," Garner said.

I-35 is one of five drug corridors found in Texas. It's a super highway for drug trafficking starting at the Mexico border in Laredo and running all the way north to Chicago. And at any given time, every single day; marijuana, cocaine, meth and other hard drugs are being transported right through our local cities and towns.

DPS Trooper D.L. Wilson says they're constantly on the look out for drugs going north from Mexican cartels and money and guns going back south. Many times it's a simple traffic violation that leads to a major drug bust.

Some popular places they're hiding these drugs? Right in the gas tank, up in the headliner and even in tires.

"You name it, we've seen it out there on the highway," said Wilson. His troopers have seen quite a bit in the last five years.

Just in Hill, McLennan and Bell counties I-35 drug busts have totaled nearly 9,000 pounds of marijuana and more than 41,500 grams of meth and cocaine. That doesn't even include totals from local police or sheriff departments.

And knowing those numbers, Angela hopes more law enforcement agencies will beef up their patrols and continue to hit the drug industry where it hurts most: their pocketbooks.

The biggest bust in the area was years ago, with 300 kilos of cocaine seized. That's a street value of more than $3 million.


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