U.S. Border Patrol Agents say that drug smugglers used a pneumatic-powered cannon to fire canisters filled with marijuana across the border, AZfamily.com reports. What will they think of next?
Border agents received a report of suspicious containers showing up in a field near San Luis, Arizona. When they searched the area, they found 33 cans containing a total of 85 pounds of pot. So far, no arrests have been made in the case.
Authorities also found a carbon dioxide tank near the field. They believe that the carbon dioxide powered a cannon that propelled the cans 500 feet in the air across the border. The seized marijuana was valued at $42,500.
If the smugglers are caught, they'll probably face federal drug charges. Under federal law, any person caught in possession of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to distribute it can face up to five years in prison.
The air-powered cannon is just the next step in a long line of drug smuggling innovations. The Associated Press reported last year that drug smugglers were using a trebuchet-style catapult to launch packages over the Arizona-Mexico border.
National Guard troops operating a video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station witnessed the operation in action and notified Mexican authorities. As in the current case, the smugglers were long gone by the time authorities arrived at the scene. However, Mexican officials seized the catapult, 45 pounds of pot, and an SUV.
Border patrol and Mexican authorities are currently working together to investigate the smuggling operation. Anyone who has information regarding the attempt can anonymously contact Border Patrol at (866) 999-8727.
- Marijuana Shot Over Border Fence with Cannon Seized (YumaSun.com)
- Drug Trafficking/Distribution (FindLaw)
- Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation (FindLaw)
- Man Loses $20K in Drug Money, Asks Police for Help (FindLaw's Phoenix Criminal Law Blog)