If a college student is caught smuggling drugs across the border, one might think the kid got what was coming to him. But when a Mexican student at the University of Texas in El Paso was caught by Border Patrol agents with duffel bags filled with marijuana in his trunk, the man used a classic excuse: He claimed they weren't his.

While a claim like that is almost unbelievable, Ricardo Magallanes, the student, is now suing Ford for handling its vehicles' key codes negligently enough to allow drug smugglers to break into his Ford Focus and stash the drugs, The Daily Caller reports. The twist here is that four other people who lived in Juarez and worked in El Paso were involved in the same type of scheme – allegedly unwittingly, just like Magallanes – and all the cars were Fords except one model from General Motors. FBI agents also found an employee at a Dallas Ford dealership that had accessed the key codes to all four of the cannabis-stuffed Fords.

While we all may not own Fords, the case still causes us slight paranoia. We'll definitely be checking our trunks before we cross any more international borders.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure why Ford is negligent if a dealer employee stole the key codes. Should Ford not allow their dealers access to key codes?
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        The issue is as a sales consultant I personally need to know the code in order to show you how to operate it upon delivery as there are a couple of features that some people never realize are there. The problem arises when you don't lock up your sold vehicle records like we do here. Most dealers keep the code on file "just in case". We've actually been contacted before to get the key code for children locked in vehicles as well for people with mental illnesses locking themselves in family members vehicles. Its also nice to know if you ever accidently lock your keys in the car or if you want to on purpose such as if you're going to a water park.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting way to ship MJ across the borders.
      charlieboy808
      • 1 Year Ago
      All I've got to say is, "Dave's not here man...."
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        El Matador
        • 1 Year Ago
        You do not sound racist at all. I bet you do not even have the ball to call them wetbacks to their faces. Now go and burn some crosses.
      Stang70Fastback
      • 1 Year Ago
      If only Ford weren't legally required to sell cars through all these shady dealerships. Then they wouldn't have to deal with this kind of stuff! *flame suit on*
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Stang70Fastback
        That wouldn't have stopped the scam...dealers are also service providers. Even if Ford sold cars online the cars would have to be delivered and serviced....chances are dealers would do that anyway. And then there are independents who are generally less dependable in many ways than dealer service.
      Steveo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why would you go to Mexico with a car anyways???
      PatrickH
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems to me that you would, oh I don't know, give your car a once over before crossing an international border. If these duffel bags were literally just sitting in his trunk then he's a dumbass.
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        Not to dismiss the importance of being properly prepared whenever crossing an international border, but in this case, the driver was a college student who likely crossed over the border every weekday. To him and everyone else who crosses over for work, crossing over the border is as mundane of a ordeal as paying toll. Giving your car a once over twice a day (at least) is just unrealistic.
        SublimeKnight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        I imagine if he's a student at UTEP and lives in Mexico, crossing the boarder is a daily activity. I can understand becoming complacent and not expecting a duffle bag of weed to show up in your trunk. They could have noticed him crossing every day to go to school and followed him home. They could have planted the drugs while the car was in his driveway.
          dukeisduke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          He could have checked the trunk before returning to El Paso, but if he'd found drugs in the trunk, then what? Call the Juarez police, and hope that whomever shows up isn't on the cartel payroll? Or take the bags out and ditch them, and then have to worry about what happens when the cartel figures out the drugs didn't make it across the border? Scary.
        RudyH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        If I am travelling by myself to say the US from Canada, I would toss my over night bag in my back seat or front seat. I think I check my trunk when I have enough groceries not to be able to place in the passenger compartment. Sounds like I am in the same boat as Ricardo, single male in their 20's, no kids...
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can we just have our damn keys back? I hate carrying around the big key fob in my pocket, so I don't. The fobs are intentional desktop billboards. It's no hassle to stick a key in the door. As far as I'm concerned, it's a little built in sobriety test. One problem with keyless entry, is that since it became standard, they removed the keyhole from the passenger side on all cars, with or without keyless entry. Now I can't open the door for my wife unless I get a car with keyless entry, and I always carry around that stupid fob.
        Luke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        Except for the Fords that have the keypad on the door (the very one that's mentioned in this article).
          BipDBo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Luke
          I thought that by "key codes" they meant that the wireless signal from the key fob was hacked. Are they talking about the door mounted key pads that were so popular on Grand Marquis in the early 90s?
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        old people and technology don't mix.
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      So a worker at a dealership did this, and it's the Ford's fault? Another unbelievable American lawsuit that makes no sense. Elon Musk should be watching this closely. If anyone of his factory own dealership employees get involved in something like this... then he will be liable.
      RetrogradE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ugh. Not really AB material, but I understand there are slow news days. BTW, "allegedly unwittingly" is clunky and doesn't really add to the article.
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