Double your addiction: Fossil fuel boom feeds drug trafficking

Summary:Bribes, back roads and bogus trucks in the oil and gas rush open the way for narcotics and ammo in Texas.

The rush to satiate our fossil fuel habit by fracking and drilling for natural gas and oil in Texas has literally opened up roads to drug traffickers.

According to the Houston Chronicle,

Energy companies boring into the depths of South Texas in the multibillion-dollar hunt for natural gas and oil are opening a growing fissure in U.S.-Mexico border security as they build hundreds of miles of private back roads and an uncharted pipeline to America for drug traffickers.

Hefty roads running through once-remote ranchlands now enable loaded-down tractor-trailers and pickups to avoid Border Patrol highway checkpoints that have long been the last line of defense for stopping all traffic headed farther into the United States....

"They are using those roads to transport drugs, guns, ammo, you name it," said Albert DeLeon,chief deputy of the Dimmit County sheriff's office.

The massive Eagle Ford shale formation that runs from Mexico to East Texas - and is ripe for fracking - has opened opportunities for traffickers to bribe truck drivers and gate personnel, and has possibly led to counterfeit vehicles made to look like oil and gas trucks, the story says.

In a massive marijuana hauling bust in March one truck driver - who was not an employee of an energy company and who was driving a bogus vehicle - admitted to agents that his drug bosses were to pay him $7,500 for the delivery.


More fossil fuel addiction and habitat SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter.

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