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Now Mexican gangs really are bombarding America with drugs: Smugglers use T-shirt CANNONS to fire soup cans filled with marijuana 500ft over border
17:14 GMT, 12 December 2012
U.S. Border Patrol agents have seized more than 30 cans filled with marijuana that were lunched by Mexican drug smugglers over the border fence into Arizona using a cannon.
Authorities say 33 cans of pot were spotted Friday in a field near where the Colorado River crosses the U.S.-Mexico border.
They believe the cans were propelled about 500 feet into the U.S. from a pneumatic-powered cannon similar to the ones used to launch T-shirts.
Weed field: Mexican drug smugglers attempted to get more than 80lbs of marijuana into Arizona by launching the drugs inside soup cans using a pneumatic cannon
Can-do spirit: A concerned citizen alerted Border Patrol agents after discovering more than 30 large cans in a plowed field near County 22nd and the Colorado River
After searching the area, agents recovered a carbon dioxide tank.
Mexican authorities were also notified and searched their side of the border, but no arrests have been made.
The 85 pounds of marijuana found inside what appeared to be soup cans inserted into larger sealed containers had an estimated value of $42,500. All the seized narcotics are scheduled to be destroyed.
Authorities say Border Patrol agents in the Yuma sector near the Arizona-California border are adapting and shifting resources as innovative smugglers come up with new ways of transporting their contraband.
The incident took place sometimes after sunset last Friday in a field near County 22nd northwest of San Luiz, Arizona.
Innovative: More than 2lbs of marijuana were packed into a soup can, which was then inserted into a larger can and sealed before being propelled about 500 feet over the border fence
Non-traditional: Officials say the smugglers used a pressured cannon similar to those used to launch T-shirts, a popular crowd entertainer at events like football games. Stock image
According to Border Patrol officials, the smugglers crossed the Colorado River with a pressurized cannon in tow and took up a position outside the border fence.
The creative bandits then used carbon dioxide to shoot the marijuana over the fence about 500 feet away, where someone was likely waiting to pick up the drugs.
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Hardly the great escape: Smugglers at the US-Mexico border got stuck at the top of this makeshift ramp
A cunning plan: Baldric would have been proud of this ridiculously flawed plot to get over the border
While a pneumatic cannon has been used
by smugglers in the past to smuggle drugs into California, this is the
first time that the device was employed in Arizona, according to
As a result of heightened border security in the Yuma sector, drug importers have resorted to ever more creative and non-traditional methods, including an underground 755-foot tunnel, ultra-light aircraft and makeshift ramps used to drive an SUV laden with narcotics over the border fence.
‘You know, as we continue to tighten the border more and more, they'll find every method they can explore to get their drug loads over,’ Agent Estes told AZFamily.com.
Medieval: In recent months, smugglers desperate to get drugs into the U.S. resorted to using a catapult to launch their contraband over the fence
According to former DEA official Douglas Hebert, smugglers are looking for low-cost, low-risk techniques such as using a cannon, which takes the human factor out of the equation and eliminates the need to go through a border checkpoint.
‘When you have contraband, poverty and desperation and time, you're going to come up with innovative techniques to get drugs across the border,’ Hebert said.
OTHER CREATIVE WAYS USED BY SMUGGLERS TO GET DRUGS INTO U.S.:
With heightened border security and tighter control of checkpoints, drug gangs have been expanding their arsenal of inventive and often bizarre ways of getting drugs into the U.S.
In July, federal agents discovered an underground 755-foot tunnel connecting a business in San Luis, Arizona, and a business in Mexico. The burrow was 60 feet beneath the ground and had been in operation for about six months to smuggle drugs into the U.S. and weapons and cash back to Mexico.
In August, an ultra-light aircraft was spotted flying from Mexico near Somerton. Agents seized nine bundles that had been dropped to the ground from the plane containing about 208lbs of marijuana.
In October, two men attempted to drive an SUV over the border fence 20 miles west of Yuma using a makeshift ramp. The vehicle eventually got stuck on the fence, and the smugglers had to flee back into Mexico.
Last January, Mexican drug smugglers attempted to get marijuana into Arizona by launching the contraband with a medieval-looking catapult.
In 2006, DEA arrested 56 people for trying to smuggle narcotics in everything from flip flops to golf balls and furniture.
That same year, authorities busted a Colombian drug cartel trying to smuggle liquid drugs inside puppies they intended to pass through customs as show dogs.
Source: Investigationdiscovery.com/Yuma Sun