Over three years ago, The Daily Mail reported a story about a 16-year-old boy who died at a border crossing. Allegedly, the boy was trying to pass off liquid methamphetamine as “apple juice” and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers asked him to prove it was indeed apple juice:
Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of San Ysidro reported that the boy appeared nervous and their suspicions grew when they found he was carrying two small containers of an amber-colored liquid that he claimed was juice.
The officers took the teen to an inspection area, where he drank some of the liquid, said San Diego police Lt. Mike Hastings.
After the autopsy a few months later, Yahoo (via the AP) posted a story with the title “Mexican boy died from drinking liquid methamphetamine at San Diego border crossing” and provided additional context:
A Mexican high school student died from drinking highly concentrated liquid methamphetamine at a San Diego border crossing in an attempt to persuade inspectors that it was only apple juice, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.
Cruz Marcelino Velazquez, 16, volunteered to take “a big sip” at the San Ysidro port of entry Nov. 18, the report said. He was then handcuffed and taken to a security office, where he began screaming in pain, said something about “the chemicals,” and shouted, “My heart! My heart!” in Spanish, it added.
San Ysidro, the nation’s busiest border crossing, has emerged as a major corridor for smuggling methamphetamine in the past five years as Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel has increased its presence in the area. To avoid detection, crystal methamphetamine is dissolved in water and disguised in juice bottles, windshield wiper fluid containers and gas tanks. It is later converted back to crystals.
Children are caught with methamphetamine several times a week at San Diego crossings, an “alarming increase,” Joe Garcia, assistant special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations in San Diego, said in an interview last year. They are typically paid $50 to $200 a trip.
So CBP has been dealing with increasing numbers of drug mules smuggling meth across the border, who are almost certainly aware that what they are doing is dangerous and illegal. Knowing full well what is being smuggled daily, and the large number of excuses they have heard on a day-to-day basis from smugglers, the conversation allegedly went something like this:
The 16-year-old Mexican national told the two officers that the bottles contained “apple juice,” but they didn’t buy it and asked Acevedo to take a sip to “prove” he wasn’t lying, according to court records.
He took a swig.
Minutes later, Acevedo began sweating and screaming in Spanish about “the chemicals.”
If the boy wasn’t lying and it was apple juice, a swig would have been harmless. If it was meth as they suspected, they wouldn’t expect him to be suicidal and actually take a swig of it. If he refused, all that happened is he would have been arrested and deported. Wouldn’t any rational human think a little brush with the law is preferable to death?
In the age of frivolous lawsuits, it is not surprising that his family would file a wrongful-death lawsuit for their son’s suicide at a border crossing. And, like many other happenings these days, it was shocking, but not surprising when his family was awarded $1 million dollars from the suit:
A Mexican family has been awarded $1 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the U.S. government following the death 16-year-old Cruz Velazquez Acevedo at a southern border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.
On November 18, 2013, Acevedo was attempting to smuggle liquid methamphetamine into the U.S., but was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers who found two bottles of the narcotic on his person. After claiming the liquid narcotic was apple juice, CBP officers told him to drink it to prove his claim.
Yes, WaPo alleged in their headline that “U.S. border officers told a Mexican teen to drink liquid meth.” At what point were the officers 100% aware it was meth? You guessed it…
Iredale said the officers did test the liquid for drugs, but only after the teen started overdosing.
The NYDN had no such headline when they reproduced the AP story three years ago during the Obama administration:
You have to give the NYDN some credit though; at least they ran the original AP story. The Washington Post never bothered to.
Unless CBP handcuffed him, tilted his head back and poured the liquid down the boy’s throat, there should be no culpability whatsoever on part of CBP or the US government. If he drinks it on his own without CBP asking him anything, he just kills himself without getting a million dollars. Instead, because CBP simply asked him to prove his own frivolous statement, his family has been awarded a million dollars.
Yes, it is infuriating to see this lawsuit paid out in the first place. A smuggler knowingly committed suicide, while trying to subvert customs and (illegally) cross into the United States carrying (illegal) drugs. All he had to do to save his life was refuse to drink the substance, and get arrested and deported. That has to be a better alternative to dying.
But instead of covering this as a case of a frivolous lawsuit, the MSM is pushing this as a case of abusive CBP agents, ignoring the smuggling that transpires on our border on a day-to-day basis, and it seems they are simply doing so in an attempt to subvert President Trump’s push for a border wall. If you think that conclusion doesn’t make any sense, just remember: Both Obama and the MSM were singing a very different tune about this story during Obama’s Presidency. Why else would the music suddenly change?