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Smugglers Using 'Cloned' Vehicles To Move Drugs

Law Enforcement On Look Out For Fakes On Roads

VICTORIA COUNTY, Texas - Texas law enforcement agencies report drug smugglers have resorted to "cloning" company and government vehicles to try to avoid detection and protect their illegal cargo.

"It's making our job a lot harder," said Michael O'Connor, Victoria County sheriff. "We're up against a matrix of deceptive transportation."

O'Connor said his officers have undergone additional training on how to spot the nearly perfect look-alikes.

Photographs provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety show 18-wheelers with duplicate logos of major companies, crammed with bales of marijuana.

Others closely resemble government vehicles, even a school bus that had marijuana bales set up inside so they looked like passenger seats.

Another shows a truck with a Texas Department of Transportation logo spotted in Gonzales County, except it was stuffed with marijuana.

"At one time, you could say there was a certain type of vehicle used. Now, it's everything, everything imaginable," O'Connor said.

He said some have "window-dressing" such as oilfield equipment or soldiers in uniform and a patient in the back of an ambulance, but they were all imposters.


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