Marijuana cannon used to shoot across U.S.-Mexico border: Authorities this week discovered a makeshift air cannon in Mexico that was used to launch marijuana into the United States.
A makeshift cannon used to fire packages of marijuana over the U.S.-Mexico border was seized by Mexican authorities this week.
Authorities in Mexicali, located on the border, said they seized a cannon that could launch drug packs weighing as much as 30 pounds, The Associated Press reported, citing a local Mexican television channel.
Authorities said they found 33 soup cans of marijuana on Friday in a field near where the Colorado River crosses the border in Arizona, the Yuma Sun newspaper reported. There were more than 80 pounds of marijuana, worth around $42,500, in the dozens of cans strewn across the field.
They believe the cans were launched around 500 feet from the cannon. According to the newspaper, authorities likened the cannon to the ones used to launch T-shirts.
“By actually shooting it over the fence, they don’t have to worry about mules or smugglers actually backpacking it across,” Kyle Estes, Yuma Sector Border Patrol public affairs officer, told the paper.
Estes said that someone likely would likely wait to pick up the marijuana after they was launched into the U.S.
But last week, before someone could find the drugs, a local discovered the cans in a field and contacted the Border Patrol.
Officials eventually found an old truck with plastic pipe and a “crude metal tank” that used compressed air from an old car engine launch the packs, said AP. No arrests were made.
Estes believed that pneumatic canons have been used in the past to launch drugs across the border. He said it is likely a more common phenomena in California, adding that “in this area I think this is new.”
“We continue 24/7 watching all the areas along the border. We are in contact with the Mexican authorities on the south side and will continue to coordinate with them,” he said.
Smugglers have used a number of creative ways to get their drugs across the border, including long underground tunnels, small aircraft, and ramps to get vehicles 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,” Estes told AZFamily.com.
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