Giant marijuana bundle launched over US-Mexico border fence

PHOENIX (AP) - Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona have seized a nearly 100-pound (45 kilogram) bundle of marijuana after spotting it flying over the border fence.

Surveillance video on Wednesday captured the large package launching through the air over the fence from Mexico to the U.S. Agents on the ground found a large, plastic-wrapped bundle worth about $48,000.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Dixon said drug smugglers are increasingly launching massive bundles of pot over the border fence, posing a danger to nearby residents and businesses because of their weight. She said she knew of one incident in which a bundle went through the roof of a dog house.

It's unclear what smugglers used to launch this particular package, but in the past they've used home-made catapults and air cannons. Dixon said she didn't know the number of such cases over the last few years.

"Not only is it illegal activity but it's extremely dangerous to the public," she said.

The incident occurred one day after President Donald Trump visited the border in Arizona and renewed his call to build a wall to stop the flow of drugs from Mexico.

Many sections of the border already have fencing - in this case between 18 and 23 feet high - that smugglers circumvent by simply flinging their drugs over the top of the barrier. Trump's critics say his wall will do little to stop similar attempts.

Dixon said sending a bundle that heavy over a fence that would require a powerful launcher. She said agents can sometimes hear the packages being launched.

The area where the marijuana landed is near some businesses, but the Border Patrol hasn't reported any damage from Wednesday's incident nor have agents made any arrests.

Dixon said she was unaware of an investigation by Mexican authorities into where the bundle may have come from on the Mexico side.

Last year, Mexican police in Agua Prieta, Mexico, which sits on the border with Douglas, found a stolen van that had been outfitted with a 10-foot (3-meter) air cannon to shoot projectiles into the United States.

Images provided by Mexican authorities showed the black van with a hole cut in its roof and a cannon in the back that could fire projectiles. Authorities also said they found an air compressor apparently used to launch packages.

The Border Patrol has said in the past that the most common form of throwing bundles over the border fence involves softball-sized marijuana packages that sometimes land in residential backyards. Smugglers pay people on the U.S. to retrieve the packages, which are then sent around the country.

High-pressure air cannons can launch much heavier packages. Smugglers have also used trebuchets, a catapult-type launch that can be made out of wood.

Despite smugglers' creative methods to cross drugs into the U.S., marijuana seizures have dropped significantly in the Southwest over the last several years.

Agents seized 2.5 million pounds (1.1 million kilograms) at the Southwest border in 2011. By last year, that number had dropped to 1.3 million pounds (590,000 kilograms).

The Tucson Sector, which covers most of Arizona, also saw a steep drop in pot seizures, from 1 million pounds (454,000 kilograms) in 2011 to 728,000 pounds (330,215 kilograms) last year.


This story has been corrected to show the measure is kilograms in first sentence.

Related Video:


More Related News

Mexico City earthquake: Powerful 7.1 magnitude tremor kills more than 130 as buildings in capital collapse 
Mexico City earthquake: Powerful 7.1 magnitude tremor kills more than 130 as buildings in capital collapse 

Mexico was struck by a powerful earthquake on Monday that killed at least 138 people and toppled several buildings in the capital. Rescue workers were digging through rubble throughout the night in a desperate search for survivors. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake came on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 temblor that caused major damage to Mexico City, and struck as many people took part in an earthquake drill. It also came less than two weeks after another major quake killed 90 people in the country's south. Journalist films home swaying as earthquake hits Mexico 00:50 Thousands fled into the streets in panic as the powerful quake rocked several states in the centre of the country....

The Latest: Seismologist: Mexico
The Latest: Seismologist: Mexico's 7.1 quake not aftershock

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The Latest on the strong earthquake that hit Mexico City (all times local):

Narcos Location Scout Shot Dead in Mexico
Narcos Location Scout Shot Dead in Mexico

Carlos Munoz Portal's bullet-ridden body was found in a car in a remote location in Mexico state.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.