US border control along with US Customs thwarted the plan of some industrious Mexican drug smugglers who used a catapult to hurl about 47 pounds of marijuana into the US.
A recreation of the ancient military device used for smuggling was discovered by US custom agents recently, CNN reported.
Built of pipes and springs welded together and parts of it tied together with rope, the catapult was not sturdy enough to hurl large stones, perhaps, but it did serve its purpose of landing drugs into the US.
The department of US Customs and Border Protection (USBP) said through a statement, that border agents found the device mounted to a border fence near the Douglas Port of Entry, which is located about two hours southeast of Tucson.
The large catapult was obviously intended as a short-term smuggling method and authorities stated it was fairly conspicuous and little attempt was made to even conceal it.
Authorities found the catapult following a routine interview with several people along the border fence on February 10. The suspects quickly fled, but the device and drugs were found after some further looking around by agents.
Mexican authorities were immediately alerted by the CBP and seized the catapult and US officials later disassembled the huge contraption.
The agency then humorously tweeted, “#USBP agents spring into action dismantling catapult used to launch marijuana.”
Clever smugglers will continue to develop more creative and sophisticated methods of smuggling, and it’s the job of authorities to catch them. The catapult was just the latest and one of the most unique ways smugglers have used to bring drugs into the country. The result is an increase in patients at a drug rehab center in the state
Border agents are constantly changing their strategy in order to keep pace with the Mexican drug cartels’ methods of smuggling.
As border patrol gets better and better at identifying and seizing various smuggling methods, the smugglers themselves respond through more creative and challenging smuggling methods.
One group of determined smugglers resorted to shooting 34 pounds of marijuana over the border using large, high pressure air cannon, CNN said.
The more sophisticated and high tech smugglers are reportedly using drones as the preferred, more modern method of smuggling. Drones are quiet, difficult for agents to spot and track and are a fairly inexpensive way to transport drugs over the border.
This adaptability and sophistication is keeping US border patrol on their toes.
Although it’s not every day smugglers use a catapult, customs and border agents have made some pretty remarkable discoveries within the past couple of years.
Back in January, border officers near Pharr, Texas seized $789,467 worth of smuggled marijuana concealed in a shipment of fake limes. A K-9 narcotics team and thermal imaging help identify 3,947 pounds of pot packed into 34,000 plastic limes.
One group of criminals even concealed their drugs in artificial root crops.
Authorities at the same border crossing last year came across 2,493 pounds of weed packed into thousands of carrots. The two pickup loads of phony carrots were worth almost a half million dollars according to CBP officials.