Tony Shin and Monica Garske
NBC Chicago
November 16, 2012

Teenagers and children as young as 12 years old are getting involved in the drug smuggling trade along the U.S.-Mexico border – and may even be at risk for recruitment, federal agents say.

Suspected teen smugglers, according to the agents, have been caught this year trying to cross into southern California with drugs secretly taped to their bodies.

Last year, a record 190 teens – ages 18 and under – were caught smuggling drugs along the San Ysidro-San Diego County border, according to federal investigators. While the number is down to 128 so far this year, there are still disturbing new trends, said Jose Garcia, a deputy special agent for ICE Homeland Security Investigations.

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