Drug Law

Innocent Mexican Teacher Caught Smuggling Drugs in Elaborate Set-Up

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

When Ana Isela Martinez Amaya was randomly stopped while crossing the Mexican border on her way to her teaching job in El Paso in May, she was unconcerned -- she did it every day, and besides, she had nothing to hide. So imagine how shocked she was when soldiers found two suitcases containing 100 pounds of marijuana in her truck.

The 35-year-old married mother was promptly arrested and accused of being a drug smuggler, despite her pleas that she never saw those suitcases before. Turns out she was telling the truth.

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NPR reports on a new scheme by drug smugglers to get illegal narcotics into the United States from Mexico -- breaking into the cars of Mexicans, planting drugs, then breaking into the car again once it is safely in the U.S. to retrieve the drugs.

Around the time of Martinez's arrest, FBI agents were closing in on such a marijuana ring allegedly headed by two men -- Jesus Chavez and Carlos Gomez.

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The FBI said it turns out they had been monitoring Martinez's movements for a year, and thought she would be a perfect candidate for their scheme. They got her vehicle identification number, and a crooked locksmith was able to search Ford's database and make a key -- that's how they got into her car without her knowing.

An FBI informant who was wearing a wire to a meeting with Gomez allegedly caught Gomez on tape admitting to the scheme. Martinez was then released from jail after being behind bars for a month and all charges against her were dropped.