The city of Laredo, Texas is located on the north bank of the Rio Grande, which separates the state of Texas from the country of Mexico. On the other side of the Rio Grande is the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo and when the city populations of both Laredo and Nueva Laredo are combined, they make up the third most populous border crossing in the country (behind the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez crossing and then San Diego-Tijuana border crossing.)
Because of the large population and the border crossing, Laredo is a popular destination for Mexican drug cartels looking to smuggle drugs into the United States. The most common drugs being smuggled into Laredo by the cartels include marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, but the largest epidemic and most problematic drug is crystal meth.
The Laredo division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is under the jurisdiction of the larger Houston office. The Houston office is responsible for supervising DEA activity throughout the entire southern region of Texas, which shares the largest border in the country with Mexico and is one of the primary drug smuggling routes used by Mexican cartels. The prime responsibilities of the DEA in Laredo is to work with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency, as well as other federal agencies like the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency, in order to stop drugs at the border before they are smuggled into the state of Texas, and eventually also transported throughout the country via Texas’ numerous interstate highways that connect the entire country.
Significant DEA Operations in Laredo
- June 2012: What started out as a routine traffic stop of a Laredo woman in Williamson County eventually turned into the area’s largest drug bust ever. The total amount seized was 42 pounds of methamphetamine.
- May 2012: The Mexican city of Nueva Laredo is one of the main battlegrounds in the cartel wars happening in Mexico. More and more of the cartel-related violence has been spreading across the border into the United State, including the Texas city of Laredo. All in all, 23 bodies were found decapitated and hanging from the bridge that connects the two cities. It is believed to be retaliation stemming from the increasingly violent battles between the four largest drug cartels in Mexico.
- July 2012: An American citizen was caught attempting to smuggle more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana into Laredo via the border crossing with Mexico. The drugs were hidden inside of wooden furniture and were discovered by border agents via x-ray technology. Upon discovery of the drugs, the DEA was brought in to conduct the rest of the investigation and charge the man with felony charges of drug smuggling.
The Laredo DEA Hiring Process
In order to obtain jobs and careers with the DEA in Laredo, applicants must go through a series of steps, meet basic requirements and go through extensive training with the administration. The following are some of the basic requirements applicants must meet before being considered for jobs with the DEA in Laredo, Texas:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must be willing to relocate to any DEA office in the country