Build a wall and drug runners will find a way to fly over it.
Border Patrol agents intercepted a glider aircraft being used to transport “nearly $500,000 in methamphetamine and fentanyl, southeast of Tucson” from Mexico into the Untied States, the agency reports.
— CBP (@CBP) May 25, 2019
Agents encountered the aircraft abandoned along a rural dirt road, with two large plastic storage containers affixed to the fuselage. Canine units on scene inspected the aircraft and discovered numerous methamphetamine packages inside the containers.
The drugs and aircraft were seized and transported to the Nogales Border Patrol Station, where testing confirmed the packages contained over 143lbs of meth and over 200 grams of fentanyl.
After an exhaustive search, the pilot could not be located.
In 2017, “a Border Patrol agent observed a drone fly over the border fence at an area approximately two miles west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The agent notified other agents in the area to be on the lookout for the drone,” according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“An agent on an all-terrain vehicle spotted a male suspect at about 11:40 p.m. near the border at Servano Avenue and Valentino Street. The agent approached the man and discovered that he was carrying a large open bag that had a multiple plastic-wrapped packages containing methamphetamine.”
The culprit was arrested and the drone was discovered concealed under a bush.
“Due to the agents’ heightened vigilance, this drone smuggling scheme was stopped before these dangerous narcotics could enter our communities,” said Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Boone Smith.
The methamphetamine had a total weight of 13.44 pounds and an estimated street value of $46,000, according to Border Patrol.
The Tijuana Public Safety Secretariat said in 2015 a drone packed with methamphetamine “crashed into a parking lot in Mexico close to the California border,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
It was found at about 10 p.m. local time and was carrying about 6 pounds of the drug.
The secretariat theorizes the drone crashed because it was overloaded. Estimates indicate the six pounds of meth would have a street value of about $260,000.
They say the runners were using a Spreading Wings S900 model, which has six propellers.
Authorities refer to the drones as “blind mules.”
CBS reported catapults, ultralight aircraft and tunnels have also been used in the past.
Drug runners are getting more clever: Instead of driving or carrying drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, they’ll just fling them over.
Earlier this year, Douglas Station Border Patrol agents seized two bundles of marijuana that had been launched across the border from Mexico near Tucson, according to Customs and Border Patrol.
The agency says the culprits used a catapult that had been attached to the Mexico side of the border fence to fling drugs into America.
“While patrolling an area east of the Douglas Port of Entry on Feb. 10, agents noticed several people on the south side quickly retreating from the fence as they approached. When agents arrived at the fence they found a catapult system attached to the south side of the border fence. They searched the area and located two bundles of marijuana,” according to the CBP.
Agents contacted Mexican border security. U.S. Border Patrol dismantled the catapult system and it was seized by Mexican authorities.
U.S. agents took possession of the 47 pounds of marijuana.