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HEAVY LOAD

Now’s your chance to drive trucks full of weed around for the US Border Patrol

The Border Patrol seizing nearly 300 lbs of pot near McAllen, Texas.
Reuters/Loren Elliott
The Border Patrol seizing nearly 300 lbs of pot near McAllen, Texas.
  • Justin Rohrlich
By Justin Rohrlich

Geopolitics reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

If you’ve ever fantasized about hauling pallets of intercepted marijuana around the American southwest, the US Border Patrol (USBP) has a job for you. Earlier this week, the agency issued a request for proposals seeking drivers to transport “bulk marijuana and other incidental controlled substances” from government facilities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to commercial incinerators for disposal.

The work description (pdf) reads in part:

The USBP’s Tucson, Laredo, El Paso, Rio Grande, Del Rio and Big Bend Sectors seize controlled substances to include, narcotics, pharmaceuticals and enormous amounts of marijuana each year, which create a significant labor drain in these offices. Without support in this area, agents would be required to drive hundreds of miles each day… requiring two to eight Agents participating in each trip and consuming an entire workday. By obtaining these services externally by contract, work hours can be spent in a much more productive and efficient manner, namely enforcing national border enforcement security.

Drivers will be armed, and will be required to “load and unload large amounts of pre-packed bulk marijuana (bales weigh an average of 20 to 60 pounds each),” the solicitation explains, noting that the vehicles used must each be capable of handling loads of up to 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg). According to the documents, the drugs will first go from a USBP station to a federal storage facility, after which they will be taken to one of two authorized destruction facilities: a scrapyard in Tucson called AMCEP Metals, and Southwest Border Incinerator in McAllen, Texas.

“The contractor will travel directly, without stopping, between pickup points and the final drop off location,” say the contracting documents. “In the event of vehicle emergencies or personal needs, a minimum of two (2) contract employees shall remain with the vehicle to safeguard the load.”

The positions are considered high-risk, and applicants must pass a thorough background investigation stretching back 10 years, have at least three years of security, law enforcement, or military experience within the past five years, and “knowledge and experience in the identification, handling and management of narcotics and their derivatives.” They will be required to wear security guard uniforms, bulletproof vests, and name tags.

However, the Border Patrol won’t accept untrimmed sideburns, mustaches, or beards in its bulk marijuana drivers. Ponytails, pigtails, and “hanging locks or hanging braids” aren’t permitted, nor are “outlandish” hair colors, including purple, orange, green, pink, and bright red. Female drivers may wear “conservative” barrettes and hairpins, as long as they do not pose a safety hazard.

Further, “intentional body and facial disfigurements that are visible” are off-limits for both male and female drivers, and “obscene, racially/ethnically derogatory and/or gang tattoos or brandings” must be covered up. Applicants with tattooed or branded heads, faces, necks, or hands will also be turned away.

Other than that, the Border Patrol really just wants to make sure you’ve got a healthy gut.

“Any disease or condition that interferes with gastrointestinal function and the individual’s safe and efficient job performance,” will make them ineligible, the solicitation says, adding that “an ulcer active within the past year may also be a disqualifying factor.”

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