In an effort to reduce the number of teens who become involved with organized crime, agents with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency are producing a documentary film that addresses the problem.
Filming for the documentary began this week in the CBP’s Rio Grande Valley Sector in Southern Texas. The filming took place in the 449th State District Court and involved many of the real juvenile offenders that were there that day. The intent of the film is to not only depict the reality of teens becoming involved with organized crime activities but also the consequences they could face if and when they are caught and brought up on charges.
The idea for the film came from Omar Zamora, one of the CBP agents working the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Zamora says that he wanted to let people know about these criminal organizations and the fact that they target young people in the communities all over south Texas in an effort to get them to carry out their criminal tasks.
Some of the things that these organizations recruit young people to do include smuggling drugs and even assisting in human trafficking. These young people are very impressionable and very easily manipulated, often being told that the consequences for being caught for doing the things that they are told to do are minor.
One teenager who is being featured in the documentary found out the hard way that there are in fact very serious and life-altering consequences for getting involved with organized crime. The young man was found guilty of charges relating to the deaths of nine immigrants that he was helping to smuggle across the US-Mexico border and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The message that Zamora wants to get across to young people is that these organizations prey on them and that if things “go wrong” it is the kids, not the high-end members of the criminal organizations, who suffer the consequences.