HOUSTON -- From a routine traffic stop to a hunt for nerves and inconsistent answers, drug interdiction officers can quickly pick up on when to search a vehicle, and on Highway 59 that can often result in huge discoveries of drugs and drug money.
I think it s among one of, say, the top three drug corridor highways in the country, said Wharton County District Attorney Ross Kurtz.
Now Kurtz says it's only getting worse, with Border Patrol focused on the surge of children crossing the border illegally, and on cracking down on all illegal immigration.
The cartels are using it to their advantage, by trying to flood the market with illegal drugs, said Kurtz.
In one tactic, Kurtz says the cartels are using follow cars, where they ll tail behind a car smuggling in immigrants. That way if the car with the undocumented immigrants gets stopped, the one with the drugs can sail right past.
Without a doubt, the consequences we will see are an increased amount of drugs being trafficked to Houston and Dallas and the other hub cities, said Kurtz.
Already, in three stops over the past month on 59 in Wharton County, DPS troopers have seized five pounds of suspected meth, 57 pounds of marijuana and $388,000 in suspected drug money.
Kurtz said, I don t think it s a coincidence it s because this is going on.
In June, the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force had one of its biggest recent months for marijuana busts, its biggest in 18 months for meth, and its first in that time for PCP.
Many of those trying to stop the flow of drugs, say it's a sign of what's to come on 59's drug corridor.
We re going to see over the next year or two, with the influx of drugs based on this crisis, that it s going to live up to its name even more, said Kurtz.
Another consequence of a border battle, that's driving home.