Pubdate: Sat, 23 Feb 2008
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2008 San Antonio Express-News


The other day in El Paso, an 18-year-old heard two of  the cruelest
words that can be hurled at a teenager --  10 years.

That's 10 years, as in a prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge David Briones sentenced the youth,  a Horizon High
School graduate, for recruiting students  to run drugs for him, the El
Paso Times reported.

A partner in his scheme, an 18-year-old girl, received  almost four
years, according to the Times.

"I am aware of my mistakes that my immaturity brought,"  he told the
judge in a plea for leniency.

The judge listened, but he did not buy the "immaturity"  angle.
Immature, yes, but he was also tragically  stupid. The easy money came
with hard time.

One of his recruits was a student who got caught  smuggling drugs at
an El Paso port of entry in April.  He had 200 pounds of marijuana in
the gas tank of his  vehicle. He told authorities the Horizon grad
paid him  $5,000 -- $1,500 to smuggle the drugs and another  $3,500 to
transport them to Oklahoma City.

The sentences seem harsh, and they are --10 years for  the young man,
almost four years for the young woman.  Their parents must be crushed,
but it is pointless for  observers to argue that they deserved
leniency, just as  it proved pointless for the two teenagers
themselves.  They got what the judge felt they deserved, and the  only
benefit that can come from such a tragedy is that  it deters other
teenagers who may want to follow the  same path to easy money.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin