On Tuesday morning, a Mesa County, Colo. police officer pulled over a vehicle to find it was being driven by a 13-year-old, which was only the second most surprising thing about the traffic stop.
The vehicle also contained 23 packages of crystal methamphetamine totaling 25 pounds, according to KDVR. Oddly enough there were two passengers in the vehicle of legal driving age — German Michel-Arreola, 22 and Irene Michel-Arreola, 19 — though it was not clear if they had valid driver’s licenses. What is clear is that the 13-old-did not, and police are not naming him because he is a minor. All three have been arrested.
According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the three suspects are from Los Angeles and were apprehended in Colorado 13 miles from the Utah border. They are being charged with possession of more than 112 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Sadly, it is not unheard of for adults to use as drug mules to carry narcotics, especially over international borders. In April, a five-year-old girl was stopped after arriving from JFK International Airport from Colombia when she was found in possession of a kilogram of heroin. Her 31-year-old mother was arrested in Colombia and police said she was planning a similar trip for her eight-year-old son.
In May 2015, Cochise County in Arizona began vigorously prosecuting as adults certain juvenile drug mules coming in from Mexico. The initiative was nicknamed Operation Immediate Consequences, and under it prosecutors charged 51 juveniles as adults, with the youngest being 14 years old.
The two adults from the Colorado bust are being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility, while the 13-year-old child is being detained at the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center.