Ignore its proximity to the border, and the Texas fracking boom is like many others around America. Trucks hauling construction supplies barrel down country highways. Boom towns, sprawling networks of new private roads and hundreds of drilling sites have popped up. But the boom for Texas tea — oil and gas, that is — has inadvertently torn a giant hole in the Border Patrol’s defenses.
According to a report from the Houston Chronicle, drug traffickers are using the state’s Eagle Ford Shale to move drugs. Cartels have stolen trucks belonging to energy companies, and have bribed truck drivers and contractors who have flooded the area for work. The cartels may also be cloning vehicles to resemble company trucks. This is while new roads sprouting along the oil and gas fields have inadvertently opened new routes around the Border Patrol’s highway checkpoints.
“[Traffickers] are using those roads to transport drugs, guns, ammo, you name it,” Albert DeLeon, chief deputy for the Dimmit County sheriff’s office, told Chronicle reporter Dane Schiller.