The powerful cartels that control the drug trade in Mexico increasingly have help north of the border—in the form of American teenagers, some as young as 13, who work as smugglers and assassins. The New York Times profiles one boy, who was recruited by the Gulf Cartel to kill on command along the interstate that connects Laredo to Dallas. "It was like a James Bond game," says Rosalio Reta, 19, who is now serving a 70-year jail sentence.
Reta attended a Mexican training camp, where he learned to shoot assault rifles, before returning to America. He lived in an expensive house in Laredo and was provided with a $70,000 Mercedes, plus access to firearms and women. Convicted of two murders in America, Reta also killed an unknown number of people in Mexico, but he acknowledges no doubts about his choice of profession. "I like what I do," he told police. "I don't deny it."