San Diego high school students recruited to smuggle drugs across U.S.-Mexico border

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A growing number of San Diego County high school students are being recruited to act as drug mules for Mexican cartels, the U.S. Attorney for San Diego said Tuesday.

The most recent charges were filed against Philip Junior Webb, a former student at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista. Federal prosecutors accuse Webb of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and bringing in unlawful aliens, including a Mexican national and Chinese national, for financial gain.

“We are seeing a very troubling trend and we want to warn parents and high schoolers,” said U.S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson.

According to court documents, Webb was a high school senior who recruited other students to smuggle methamphetamine and Fentanyl into the United States on multiple occasions.

On each occasion, the juveniles had drugs strapped on their bodies as they attempted to enter the United States, investigators said.

“This is a dangerous trend because this is no longer a situation where it’s the guy with the tattoos on the corner parking lot recruiting people to do drug deals. This is someone who is one of the students. He’s one of the students. He could be your lab partner. He could be the guy next door. He could be the girl next door in the school locker area,” said Walker Hobson.

Webb is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

In an unrelated incident, another high school student was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine at San Ysidro High School.  Agents said they found five kilograms of methamphetamine in the student’s back seat.

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