Drug-Shooting ‘Bazooka’ Seized In Mexico As Smugglers Aim Skyward : The Two-Way : NPR

Drug-Shooting ‘Bazooka’ Seized In Mexico As Smugglers Aim Skyward

Enlarge this graphic toggle caption Brennan Linsley/AP Brennan Linsley/AP

As Mexican authorities continue to crack down on medication smugglers, criminals continue to aim high in a bid to evade them. The other day, Mexican authorities seized a jury-rigged bazooka and practically one ton of marijuana in the border city of Agua Prieta in Sonora status, the Mexican Attorney General said in a affirmation.

The bazooka have been “adapted” to employ a compressor for launching medications into the United States. The Mexican daily El General reports these devices was inside a van with a sliding roof, allowing the bazooka to shoot the medications from the covers of the vehicle.

Agua Prieta lies directly over the border from Douglas, Ariz. This past year, Mexican federal government authorities found another “homemade bazooka” in the city, this one measuring practically 10 feet lengthy, alongside an weather compressor inside a modified panel van without license plate. Officials state it was apparently employed for launching projectiles, possibly drugs, over the border.

ABC News video recording of homemade bazooka seized found in 2016. YouTube

Smugglers have been trying to hurl medications over the U.S.-Mexico border for a long time.

In 2011, as The Two-Way has reported, “smugglers tried by using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.” The next year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found practically three dozen canisters filled up with 85 pounds of marijuana near Yuma, Ariz. and after smugglers in Mexico employed a pneumatic-powered cannon to shoot the medications 500 feet over the border.

Need a better visual of how they work? Wired likened the products to the weather cannons found in “punkin’ chunkin'” contests.

Every year, Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations bring in medications by the “multi-ton” more than the Southwest U.S. border, based on the Drug Enforcement Agency. The most common smuggling method is merely to hide the medications in vehicles, the DEA says, but, boats, tunnels and drones will be also employed.

The Department of Homeland Reliability says the number of Border Patrol agents trying to stop the smugglers by land, sea and increasingly air, has practically doubled since 2004, now totaling practically 20,000.

In February, Paul Beeson, who heads a joint task force of DHS’s southern border campaign, testified to Congress that smugglers “previously threw, by hand, small plenty of drugs over the border fence, they now make use of compressed air cannons to start bundles of illicit narcotics more than 100 pounds over the border fence.”

Beeson said these businesses are “indicative of the ever-evolving and persistent intent of TCOs to exploit the border environment.”

NPR correspondent Carrie Kahn contributed to this report.

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