Federal authorities are alarmed at what appears to be an increase in cartels recruiting children and teenagers to smuggle drugs over the U.S. border, NBC 7 in San Diego reports .
Federal agents said children as young as 12 are being used as drug mules.
“It shocks me and saddens me that kids are getting involved. It doesn’t shock me that cartels will use whatever method they need,” Jose Garcia, a deputy special agent for ICE Homeland Security Investigations, told NBC 7.
Cartels are recruiting children outside schools and malls and by using social media, agents told NBC 7.
Making matters worse, the children appear to be moving more meth across the border.