15 | Teen Smuggler
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The story of Alex Silva growing up in the projects his mother has to work, most of the time, and Alex feels that she doesn't care about him at all by the time he's sixteen. He feels that his life is not going anywhere. Any needs to get out getting the job in an autoshop. He's impressed by members of a wealthy Mexican gang when he learns that they're smuggling marijuana into the US from Mexico outskits excited, he wants and they take him in and he finally feels like he's somebody, he gets deeper and deeper until he goes way too far. Groping a puzzle Texas been projects and knowing come neighborhoods growing up in a ghetto school wasn't fun. So I started ditching school at very early age buying my own clothes and being my own boss. Taking care of myself. My mom being a single mother had to work most of the time. I felt she was almost not interested in me. Almost didn't care. By the time I was sixteen seventeen. I just felt I wasn't going anywhere. And I wasn't going to go anywhere because of the life that I was leading I wanted to leave, but my uncle he wasn't going to have it me just walking away on my own. So he found me a job in El Paso. The job. The Mongol got me was at a tire shop. It was a family business. The owner to most of the work. He told me that I would be getting to two hundred and fifty dollars a week coming for more. I was coming from. I felt relieved I finally have some income, and I could get a place of my own basically start my new life. One day I was working on a tire when three Mexicans walked into the shop. When I first saw them to me, it seemed like they were so me on though. Which means that there were flaunting with the hat. I was impressed by them. I mean, very well dressed expensive ostrich boots and belts. Couple of them have real expensive Stetson hats on. Right away with, like, hey, here's some good customers after that every time they brought in a car, it always came into me. So they kind of became my regular customers. One of them was younger, very friendly. I wanted to get to know them better because I knew that they had money. He ended up trusting in inviting me to go out with them. I've never been around people with that much money. It wasn't like anything ever seen before. Became almost an obsession figure out what they were doing and what they were about. I had to, I have to know I had to get a piece of it and become part of it. I find a game enough trust with them. And I almost think it was a drunk moment. I thought, well, you know, here we are loan, I might as well ask him. So I went on a hit and asked him what exactly wasn't. There were doing the answer. Shocked me Hayden. It shocked me. It turns out they were smuggling marijuana and different cars, every time they came in. So that's what they were doing that. The garage. He's telling me about a crime. So sometimes I heard it was like. I got that scared drilling rush. But I thought this is a great opportunity for me in that moment. Asked. And he just he said, okay. I'll talk to my his older brother about me. The oldest brother showed up and we're going to set you up with something. I felt like one of the crew. And when he told me what I had to do. It excited me. But at the same time that, wow. You know dangerous. The first thing I had to do was across the border into Mexico. You have to want over this bridge, and you end up in the city of quantites Mexico. So much was going through my head. Now it was a drug transporter versus just a nobody sitting in a garage. I didn't think there was any consequence or if there was very little. Like where it came from I wanted to go forward with it. The boss told me the cars parked on the other side parked in the parking lot told me exactly which one where I would find the car. My heart pounding. I'm nervous. Jerry. I just remember the first thing I did was look at myself in the mirror. I notice car biz stuffed with marijuana. I saw scared at a kid. My job was could get back across the border and to the United States. So I get to the border. I'm feeling myself getting nervous. I'm getting a little anxious. What was I going to get asked? What if I get caught? What if what if? What if what if? And start thinking a return back and I'll get out of this car, but I was stuck in his mind. I had to try to find a way to call myself down. The depressed weren't working. So it's got to do something what can I do? So what I did a top point I rolled up all my windows. Just took a deep breath and just screamed as loud as I could. But again, I just, you know, call myself down. We be okay. It'll be okay. You just visiting your at you're just visiting your at. So matron came up to go through the toll booth. He just barely even looked at me just with his hand waves for me to continue. Why felt relief that I'm finding getting out of there. I was excited because I, I knew I was going to get paid. No big deal. It's like wow. I can do this again. I had no idea what they were going to give me. Right after I handed him the keys he had to meet two hundred dollars. A hands felt full it seemed to be, you know, the greatest scape ticket. To, to the perfect beginning of, of something great. I felt more powerful. More accept more trusted. Now I had passed my initiation, the boss asked me if I wanted to get into the bigger game. And I say, yes, of course. I knew it was a soldier onto bossy. I knew I had to work my way up. He says the risks were bigger than volved going all the way into Mexico. Around the twenty four hour drive. Up drugs load them up into the car. And then, bring it across the border and through another checkpoint and further into the United States in into Denver. Colorado. Kind of scared me. But then, again, it was bigger money. He offered me three thousand dollars. Not. That was a huge amount of money. I felt I'd get rich off the one trip. The next day got a map, I had to figure out a way to mutual gun and just kept driving. The big picture of the money was going through my head, but we, somebody would have told me, hey, you know, you could be the fall guy the foci, meaning the one that take the fall for everybody. The plan was that I was going to wait for them in meet your gun. But when the boss finally made it into town. It wasn't the same anymore. It was different. And felt very serious. Nobody was laughing and joking anymore. Didn't know where I was going. Driving up felt very uncomfortable. I always thought to protect myself never going to something that I don't know how to get out of. And that's exactly what I was doing. I mean, do you really know these people and I didn't. I had no idea who they were just vaguely knew them. In all reality. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There was nothing but trees, absolutely nothing. No people on this whole civilization. And then a little bit further up. I see these this kid. With some type of a rifle. Pretty shocking to see somebody stare at you that way. Doan's very quiet. There's almost nobody walking around on side. I felt like we were being watched. It was unsettling and felt weird. It was just very odd that we were exchanging drugs, and money, you know, in public. Of course, maybe nervous and scared, but my guys, they were very calm about it, and entre LA you know, we'll no big deal. I just would not let myself panic, I was able to come down and just go with it. After about fifteen minutes this guy pulls up in his truck. On the back of the truck, and these huge bags. Like pinto. Beanbags at you find at the grocery store. But the the big industrial size once. The first thing was helping them note. I grabbed one and then you could smell it. I've never seen anything like it was somewhere around one hundred pounds or more. How can I get all that cross the border? I kind of knew okay? They're going to show me. And when I found out their system, I was very impressed with him. They made these boxes. You fill up the box with marijuana. And then we took a sprayer and sprayed it all down with marijuana tea for it to be able to stick to itself. With a model Jack you compress the marijuana into this box, you come up with these bricks of a pound or two and do a few rows of Saran wrap wrapping then start sprinkling coffee. And the coffee was used to deter the smell. Then, you know we just did that all day. I thought God has genius and my mind I was very confident that nobody would ever catch us. In the trunk right by the tire compartment. There's the huddle space and that's where they're were storing the marijuana. They said I had thirty three pounds. Now is going all the way into Denver, Colorado. Mexico. There was always the chance that I would get pulled over by police. But you didn't even worry me. If I was to get pulled over, I would just offer money because in Mexico, all cops are corrupt does what I was told. Just show straight through without any problems. Didn't even running too many cops. But my next step would be crossing over the border. The last trip. Everything went fine. So I didn't think of big what if? As I'm driving up. He just kind of looked at me. He waved me on through. When that's obstacle is going to be crossing through a second checkpoint. There was more risk. They're checking every single car. So I know I'm gonna get question. I knew they would ask where I was going. So I had to figure out our plan. I'm thinking, brainstorming, and I come up with Hei-wah your mechanic, get your mechanics clothes on. Tell them I got a car broken down with a customer in the next town. So I went to the tire shop. Got mechanics close. Took some tools. It in the back seat and head on my journey. I'm getting to check checkpoint. And I still have that chance at it's not going to be man, and it was. I'm gonna get questioned. I'm just scared almost freaking up, am I going to starter gonna show nervousness, which right away with would raise a red flag and get myself search? He actually stopped to ask me a question. Listening to myself tell the story I think I pulled it off. Very good. I didn't stutter. I was calm about it. Then he says, okay. But doesn't wave me through. Turns on his flashlight starts looking in the back seat. I'm thinking, oh my God. This is it. I'm going to get search. It took a moment and then started to walk towards the bag by the gas tank. And my mind, I'm thinking, oh my God. This is. You know it's there he, he knows it's there. I'm getting busted. I'm carrying busted. There's no way around this anymore. Stops to look around then starts walking back towards me. Comes up to the window and just okay. As I'm driving away. I'm seeing get smaller and smaller in the river mirror until he's finally gone. I started shaking I'm starting to sweat. Oh my God. I was just so nervous all the adrenalin it starts coming out. I can't hold it back any more. Finds it a pulling over. And throwing up. Dump kicking myself in the bud. What hell are you doing? It's this really what you wanna do. In just clean myself up and kick myself against shut up. You're done. Let's go deliver this and pick up our money. Decision had to be made whether I was going to take the money and walk away, free and clear, or I was going to continue. I couldn't walk away. I was just too greedy. I wanted at all. So there was no way, I was gonna I was gonna let myself, walk away at that point. I wanted to do the next up for when I am. Call the Boston he said go ahead and go I had a friend that I know he was struggling. So I am by him to come along with me. The trip was very fast. We got there quicker than I did the last time. Everything was going great. Everything was feeling perfect, like nothing was going to go wrong. On the way down to Mexico. We've made up with boss. We switched cars. We went ahead and got to merchandise. Loaded everything up and I am got going. No tension at all. So I was driving up these curvy wind e roads if I need turned the corner, there's a cop sitting at the side of the road. As I passing him. I could see him staring at me. It just didn't feel right? I knew that I had to pull over. In my mind, I'm battling what am I going to say to him, what's going to be my story? I'm worried. I'm scared. I'm trying to calm myself down. Same time trying to calm him down. It just didn't feel right? Especially after seeing that look him in the cops face when you saw me. We asked him. Let me see you. You know, you're a distraction. Where you coming from. I am usually go to tell him that passed hound that I was just stat, and I can't remember the name. That point I froze. He's got what's going on? I saw him in my miracle straight to his car tells us partner get out. I'm freaking out. And they both approached the car. He walks up to me and tells me, which means you, you're carrying something, and I was like, no no not. No. You have something and I'm like, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let's talk about this, and he just started telling me, no required. Get out of the car, get out of the car. We'll talk station. I'm like, oh my God. What to how the commission enter? I still thought that point that we have the option of buying your way out if we need to. Told than Mexico cops take money. So I told me, you know, let's, let's make a deal. Five thousand ten thousand and he just laughed at me. That's not even enough for for play money. Like, oh my God. Something's not right. I asked for a phone call like phone calls here. So took us into this grungy building. Got. Hell out of this heard horror stories about the please. If the gang don't show up at can only imagine what's going to happen. I know and realize that something had was reading about to happen. The worst was just yet to come. In my mind, I was still in denial. Thinking that everything was going to be fine. You know, these people are going to come and get me, everything was going to be just great. And little did. I know that the worst the wish was about to happen. Today's date or they call my name. The asked me to tell him where I had gone. The marijuana. To make a choice whether to go hang spill everything out. Or maybe face something something worse at camp snitch off the people at work with now they're gonna come and get me. So I told him I didn't do anything. I don't even know why have me here. They walked me out to the backyard. You're going to tell us what happened. I don't know. We're talking about you wanna play games we're going to show you how to play. They they put a plastic bag over my head. So I'm sucking air trying to breathe. I end up sucking the bag into my mouth. So I bit into it. And towards best, I couldn't you know, whatever little air, I can get out of it. So the guys grabbed the bag. Punched in the stomach again in Duncan. Gasping swollen. Desperate feeling of not being able to breathe whatever remember the most. Freaking out. I'm thinking I'm dying. There's no way I could get through this. That this. Ration- indescribable. Okay. Okay. I'm ready to talk. So I figured, I'll just tell him I went into the town on my own, and I found a random person I don't even know his name. And that's what I said. Picks up the story the semi back to, to still holding. Just bring vixen pit memories hits a police didn't like to be. Well, after fourteen days, if I took me out to the main prison. If you're up drug smuggler and Mexico, you don't have the option of bonding yourself, altering trout. Got transferred to Modell troika. This is a prison full of murders. Rapists. Everybody. And everybody looked alike. Nobody look like there were murder. He's just couldn't tell. They have no care for life in matter to them. They were killed somebody without a problem. It didn't matter if you live or die. I'm just thinking to myself, God, you know, this is hell. This is, you know the worst place I've ever seen in my life. I thought there was a big possibility that I could die there. There was no. Value for life in that place. I finally broke down and call my mom. Chan heard from me in on so long. Had been nine months last time I spoke with her. It was hard to hear her cry. Hurting voice just broke by heart. Felt like a letter down. I'm sure she had better hopes for me. Yeah. Wanted better for me even though she didn't show it. I'm sure she did. So I just kind of at that point realized, I'm not going anywhere. Want to be here for a long time. And kind of lost lost all hope of, of leaving. So and turn, I just adapted an adjusted and became part of it. After the year of being there I had a Dopp to surrounding some pretty much just became one of them. A friend of mine who had a girlfriend in the women's area. He asked me if I could go over there and pick up his food for the day, and he chair with me, and whatever. I got over there and washing dishes, sisters skirl. I was immediately attracted to her. I had to get to nor. We just completely fell in love with each other. By found out. She was an accountant for a company manager was embezzling money. He just got caught in the middle because she was the one signing the checks, her crime, was very big shoe, wouldn't stay there long, but I had been sentenced to two years and anyone lever side I wanted to be with her. So I began to think I'm gonna try to escape. I'm gonna get outta here. Started to associate with people. One of the guys that are started associated with the call them flacco. Cata skit before from another prison. He was also a kidnapper. So he was, you know, somebody who, who had done things and get things done. Angle. He was like my right hand man. It was my best friend. Any fights that went down? He was right there with me and Galvano. We brought in as muscle, he was ex gangster from LA tattooed out, and just really tough guy. Started watching the guards in the towers. Watching their moves. See what they were doing daily. The one thing that they did daily was the cleanup. Every single morning. They bring them up a broom. Walk into each individual tower. The guard would come down. Open the door. And meet these guys. The guard would receive them up in the Bronco backup his tower out, and then throw the things over the side and we continue to each tower. Flaco figured if we can get inside this chain fence before the lock pick eight. Catch all three guards with the door open. We can take over these guards and get his tower. Was a temp fifteen second window. The white, he likes it and goes back up and there's no kidding. By no to have guns and we needed to disarm them. So am I going to be able to kill or am I just going to kill? The one thing that they didn't know about me is I wasn't a killer like they were. I brag to them that I could if I had to, but I never actually done it. It was dangerous and a scary situation. It's me. Morning. Everything found a place. The plan was perfect. We're all ready to go. The guards went through with a routine. Kate. I have a hollow feeling the to my stomach. The adrenaline rushing the nervousness. The guard came down taro, Dr. As he opened the door. The Kate will still open. Negra looked up at me and nodded his head as a signal. And I froze. I just couldn't go through with it. I'm looking just staring and finding I focused in on what was going on. Okay, I gotta go and I jumped in. Mike took takoff running. I'm chasing. I'm focused on gun. This guy trips and falls. When he falls, I'm going to grab gun. So I'm focused on waste. I'm notice he doesn't even have a gun belt. Never gun. I didn't have to kill him. But now I don't have a gun at all. As I'm clearing the top of the tower gal was behind me yelling. Where's the shotgun? We knew there was a shotgun in there somewhere, but we didn't aware. I go to side in there. It is I what am I going to do with it? I don't want this gun in my hand. Keep it on might have to use it. So my first thing was get rid of it. I stuck my head off and yell. And I just said, let's go bet the here. So I went ahead and dropped land. I saw flacco running towards the houses. As I'm running, I can see up the Corey mind that there was a police car. All of a sudden, they hear a pop and then Swoosh. There were shooting. I turned around and yelled at local shoot them shoot up. He was left handle who can unlock the fifty on it. We turn the corner of the houses and about two bucks down. We see the carpet was forced to be there waiting. It starts beating off. A cop cartoons a corner in front of me. Just couldn't believe that I was caught. No longer was me and cloudy, going to be able to be free and together, we're going to have to go back to the plan of median inside her outlined. Coming back to the present or being received like heroes. Just tearing me up inside the I didn't get to leave. Months passed after that. And I'm still waiting for my sentence. Media walking to the store, and we see the warden. Is it? Oh, well, they're going to transfer out of here to states pitches came in yesterday. I was just reading them this morning. And I looked at my friend were like, really? I knew that if I did get transferred to the states, I would be, you know, it'd be a short time before I got out. So come chock there's no way there's no way that this can happen. I didn't think it was ever going to happen here. It was. It's, you know the day. Came to myself, choose a little sad. But excited. She had some news for me. She has a little bit Tommy. And then then she broke down and told me. Chad, Mr. Zuma's period. I've known anymore what to do or what decide it kind of left me in shock. Knowing that she was pregnant, it was scary, because I knew I was going to have to leave her, and they want to. I didn't want her to be alone and anyone leave her side, I wanted to, to be with her for from now on. Knowing that she was pregnant and I got scared scared excited. Listen to hear my name being called. I knew I was going to have to leave her. And I didn't want to. She started crying. I want to take with me anyone ever be away from her. The guards cloudy crying, and he saw me and he said, you have a choice you don't have to leave. The choice that I had was to go back in. Being exa cloudy, but run the risk of staying there for a lot of years. My other choice was to go away cloudy behind with the guarantee that I was going to be getting out. So and soon as she gets out to be with me. So I made the choice of being transferred. In my mind. I thought, hey, I won. I'm still going to Klaudia. And I'm still going to get my freedom. To me. I want my that, that's everything from me. He was going to be perfect from then on. Come to find out, I was only going to be able to keep one of those things. During the time that I lost contact with her. She became scared didn't know what to do. She was pregnant and ended a finding another guy. I still think about her. Think about. And what should I could see her again and more than anything? I wish I could meet my daughter. I haven't met her. Never got to see her. I hope that somebody sees you know, my story and, and. And takes to heart what I've done and sees you know that. That they become aware of that fake money that it's not there that it's just a, a facade that, sir. It doesn't actually exist and changes our life and gets away from the drug world. If, if at least one person can do that. I can be a big accomplishment. Thank you for listening to locked up abroad exclusively on luminary from one, dri the network behind, Dr death dirty John and business wars to listen to more great shows like locked up abroad. Visit luminary dot audio and wondering dot com. Abroad was produced by raw TV limited for National Geographic, channel's copyright two thousand nine all rights reserved distributed under license from FOX networks group content distribution UK, limited our, what are you at is edited by Daniel, crispy, our producer is Donna, Himes are executive producers are marshal Louis and her name Lopez for wondering.