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By Steve Thompson
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - The drug smuggler arrived on a bus from Laredo lugging three suitcases filled with 45 pounds of marijuana, Dallas police say.
It was a significant amount for officers to intercept - worth more than $50,000 on the street - but police say the bust was unusual for another reason.
The suspect was a 14-year-old girl.
"We thought she was at a friend's house," the girl's mother said Friday from the doorway of her Northwest Dallas apartment. "I spoke to her like three or four times and had no idea."
The mother said she thought her daughter was at a sleepover until she learned of the arrest.
"I was in shock," she said. "I could not believe it."
The girl and her mother are not being named because The Dallas Morning News generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.
Dallas police drug interdiction officers posted at the Tornado bus station in North Oak Cliff noticed the girl Thursday morning as she stepped off a bus. They approached her when she tried to leave in a taxi.
To officers, the girl looked like an adult, said Deputy Chief Julian Bernal, commander of the narcotics division. "They didn't think at all she was that young."
But the expression on her face aroused their suspicion.
"You can imagine - she's 14 years old - she's streetwise, but she's not that streetwise," Chief Bernal said. "She looked like she had just robbed a bank or something."
As officers began asking questions, the chief said, the girl's demeanor "could best be described as extremely defiant."
Officers soon discovered the marijuana, neatly stashed inside 16 heat-sealed plastic baggies with a powder to mask the smell.
The girl had taken a bus south, picked up the drugs, and returned, Chief Bernal said. She knew she was involved in a drug operation, and may even have planned to distribute the marijuana herself, he said.
"It appears that there were several people involved, and that's what we're looking into, is who played what role," he said.
The girl has a history of behavioral problems, the chief said. She was taken to a juvenile detention center after her arrest.
The mother said that as far as she knew, her daughter had no friends or acquaintances in Laredo. The girl was released by authorities Friday, her mother said.
In at least five years, Dallas police say, the 14-year-old is the only juvenile to be arrested by the drug interdiction unit under similar circumstances.
Wire Service
 
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