Mexican bloodthirsty cartels are playing Grand Theft Auto to recruit players online, it has been reported.
Police suspected gangs were preying on the players, but found little evidence until a drug dealer revealed how she ended up with 60kg of methamphetamine in her car.
Arizona Customs and Border Protection officials found Alyssa Navarro with the massive drug haul inside a Jeep Cherokee last November.
She explained that 11 months earlier she was playing GTA when she met a man named George who started messaging her about the game before chatting on Snapchat.
Navarro added that they finally met in Phoenix after George offered him up to $2,000 (£1,500) per job as a ‘racer’ driving electronics across the US border.
Federal investigators read that George had promised Navarro “lots of money” and offered the use of a truck they believe was the Jeep in which she was arrested.
Navarro was instructed to meet someone called Alfredo in Mexico who gave her the car and advised her to stop at gas stations until she encountered another unidentified individual.
Drug cartels are notorious for smuggling drugs in electronics, but in this case the narcotics were found by Border Patrol, hidden in the fuel tank.
When investigators asked Navarro if she thought the whole thing was weird or fishy, she admitted it sounded weird and even wondered, “What am I doing?” on his bus trip to Mexico.
The Navarro case saw her plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy to import and sell methamphetamine, as well as possession.
A month before last year’s incident, three children were recruited into popular mobile battle royale game Free Fire, police in Oaxaca, Mexico have reported.
For more shocking stories from the Daily Star, be sure to sign up for one of our newsletters here
The children had been primed for criminal activity with the offer of $200 (£150) a week to be on the lookout for a cartel.
It was also reported at the time that drug dealers claiming to be members of dangerous gangs, including the Sinaloa Cartel, were playing the online multiplayer version of Grand Theft Auto V late at night to recruit children.
Rockstar Games’ GTA has been a firm favorite of gamers who have immersed themselves in the life of a gangster for the past two decades.