Mexican Cartels Recruiting Texas Kids: Official

Mexican drug cartels have recruited kids throughout Texas to aid in smuggling efforts, a Texas law enforcement official told Reuters. The children, some as young as 11, are being used as lookouts and for drug running, among other tasks, said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw. "Cartels would pay kids $50 just for them to move a vehicle from one position to another position, which allows the cartel to keep it under surveillance to see if law enforcement has it under surveillance," he told Reuters. "Of course, once you're hooked up with them, there's consequences.” In the past year, 25 minors have been arrested in one Texas county alone for helping the cartels, McGraw said. He said the drug gangs call their young workforce “the expendables.”

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