No, you don't have to put your liquid methamphetamine in a tequila bottle to pass it through US Customs from Mexico, but if it's included in a larger shipment of tequila, the chances that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will pick up on it is minute because the factory-sealed bottle is proof against discovery. Even half a dozen bottles mixed in with a hundred tequila bottles improves the value of the imported goods many times. It's even more effective if it's being shipped from a "Trusted Facility" under the aegis of CTPAT.
The comparatively new liquid form of methamphetamine was first produced by Los Caballaros Templarios in Michoacan but it's now being produced nationwide since the 'cook was turned' by the Sinaloa Federation.
Oddly enough, it started as a project to supply methamphetamine to prisons (for profit and as a service to comrades behind bars). Even prisoners need a pick me up - and so do guards who are in need of taming. Letters were sent to Amaloya and other maximum security institutions wherein the paper inside of the envelopes were dosed in liquid meth. It didn't take long to get from there into the tequila bottles.
Liquid packages of meth are very easy to "kiester-stash" in the rectum of the transporter, and nearly impossible to detect. If the packaging fails, the transporter will immediately die, but most don't and they're packing upwards of two liters per passenger - pack the car six deep and do the math. CPB can put the dogs on the car and the people but the 'mules' usually make it through. From what I've heard, it's easier to body pack it than solid meth because it can be manipulated into the colon and/or vagina easier in its liquid form. Never having personally participated, I have to take people's word for it.
Best of all, liquid meth is considerably "stronger" than crystals. Well, that's what they say. However 96% pure crystal meth is likely about as potent as the crystals in solution. The quality of the acid-washed crystal meth coming out of Mexico is very pure and it's 'crystal clear'. It can be injected or simply consumed orally. Both will give you a considerable punch. If the process doesn't include an acid injection process, the solution will be amber...the color of much of the tequila that you'll find in your local market.
Hecho en Mexico!
I hear your question. "How can US Customs determine whether the bottle contains pure liquid methamphetamine or tequila?"
The obvious answer is that they need to break the seals (and ruin) every bottle crossing the border. With the North American Freed Trade Act (NAFTA) in place, that's not practical. And the lawsuits which surely result if they don't find what they are looking for...
Please don't think that Mexico only supplies the US with liquid meth. Tequila exports from Mexico to Spain are up 500% in the last six years.
But it's really even better than that for the business of narcotrafficking. On January 17, 2006, in Washington DC, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) - Ambassador Rob Portman and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Sergio Garcia de Alba signed an historic agreement on cross-border trade in tequila. This signing ceremony was the culmination of two years and 10 rounds of negotiations between the United States and Mexico.
Tequila is an alcohol beverage distilled from the agave plant and has been given worldwide recognition as a distinctive product of Mexico. As such, while ‘Tequila’ can only be produced in Mexico, bulk shipments of finished tequila, destined for bottling abroad, had been allowed. In August 2003, the Mexican Standards Bureau announced a proposal that the official standard for tequila would be amended to require that all tequila be ‘bottled at source’, in order to be labeled as tequila. This would have created a de facto ban on exports of bulk tequila.
If the draft standard had been adopted, it would have threatened the huge investments U.S. companies have made to build bottling plants and develop brands in the United States. Prompt action by the USTR and the cooperation of Mexican officials allowed tequila to flow uninterrupted for two years during the negotiations. In addition, during the signing ceremony, Ambassador Portman stated, "I want to thank the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury, as well as the Departments of State and Commerce, for their invaluable assistance in these negotiations."
The U.S.-Mexico tequila agreement will ensure that bulk exports of tequila from Mexico to the United States, valued at $400 million per year, continue without interruption. The U.S. is Mexico’s largest export market for tequila, accounting for 50 percent of Mexico’s total production.
If you have any questions regarding this agreement please contact the International Trade Division, US Department of the Treasury, Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau. (MOU between Mexico and the US)
ABC News Report on a recent arrest
ABC News Report on a recent arrest