Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Illegal Narcotics and the U.S./Mexico Border

Posted on: June 10, 2008 at 10:54 a.m.

Southern California has a number of factors affecting it which causes the laws throughout the state to often look strange to the rest of the nation. One such factor is the border that California shares with Mexico. Prosecuting drug laws can be difficult due to the challenges of having to extradite criminals across both sides of the border, and the differing drug laws in each nation. Other states bordering Mexico include Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

Recently, a drunk driver plowed into a bicycle race near the Mexican border in Texas. Part of the challenge in attempting to prosecute is the citizenship of the individuals injured as well as the individual accused. Drug policies can be even more difficult, as witnesses may not have citizenship in the country they witnessed the crime, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to get them to testify.

The popular television bounty hunter Dwayne "The Dog" Chapman had his challenges with this issue as he arrested an American citizen while he was in Mexico, which violates Mexican law. Smuggling drugs across the border is a federal offense, and could bring charges on both sides of the border.

If you would like to talk to an experienced attorney regarding drug related charges, or any other criminal matter, please contact the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, drug crimes defense, high profile defense


Gabe Rose on June 10, 2008 at 5:01 p.m. wrote:

A very interesting issue, I had never really considered these implications. It seems like a fairly unavoidable problem, so long as nations want to maintain some sort of sovereignty, problems like this will likely remain. Unless there are other countries that have worked out deals that make prosecution and apprehension easier. Also illustrates the importance of defense lawyers, to ensure all such rules are followed during the prosecution of cases.

M Phung Tu on June 10, 2008 at 2:57 p.m. wrote:

The laws at the border are very strange indeed. The procedures and regulations in regulating what go in and out of this country are very complicated. I had a tour of the Mexico border with the US Border Patrols earlier this quarter. One border patrol told me that due to the different laws, ability of enforcements, and political limitation on both sides of the border that sometime it is difficult to deal with not only with illegal immigrants but also narcotics trafficking. The life there is so chaotic. Every night we worry about dinner going to bed early. Living by the borders where the laws are difficult to enforce people have to worry that there won't be illegal immigrants of narcotics smugglers sneaking into their home at night.

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