December 6, 2023
Ivan Granillo exterior the Port of Entry in San Ysidro on Might 5. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

By 6 a.m. that morning in November 2020, issues have been already off to a foul begin for Ivan Granillo. 

He missed the three alarms that usually wake him up for his early morning weekday shifts at a distribution middle in San Diego. He scrambled to depart his dwelling in Tijuana and drove to the San Ysidro Port of Entry to cross into the U.S. 

inewsource ad

However issues for Granillo have been about to take a flip for the more serious. He would by no means make it to his shift that morning. 

As a substitute,  customs officers on the border discovered almost 100 kilos of methamphetamine sitting in a black duffle bag and two plastic baggage within the trunk of Granillo’s automobile.

He was arrested, questioned and charged with importing a federally managed substance. If discovered responsible, he would face a minimal of 20 years in jail due to a earlier drug conviction.

Granillo says he had no thought the medicine have been ever in his automobile, and all year long lengthy court docket battle, he claimed what protection attorneys, crime consultants and authorities officers immediately name the “blind mule” or unknowing courier protection.  

Blind mule smuggling has been a recognized technique amongst Mexican drug traffickers for many years, a number of crime consultants advised inewsource. Cartels place the medicine within the automobile of an unsuspecting driver — the courier, usually somebody who crosses continuously between the U.S. and Mexico — after which the medicine are picked up on the U.S. aspect of the border with out the motive force understanding.

It’s often called the go-to protection — “I didn’t know there have been medicine within the automobile” — for smugglers caught within the act. The federal government says most individuals crossing the border with hid medicine know what they’re doing. 

However protection attorneys contend that the phenomenon occurs extra usually than the federal government admits. 

And even after years of proof pointing to the usage of blind mules, the U.S. authorities has taken little motion to warn the general public a couple of risk that might have an effect on those that journey within the greater than 15 million private autos that cross the San Ysidro Port of Entry yearly. 

Learn the complete article on

Get investigative reporting in your inbox. Join inewsource’s newsletters.