Mexican Gangs Using Catapults to Hurl Pot into US

This Jan. 27, 2010 image released by Mexico's Defense Secretary (SEDENA) on Friday Jan. 28, 2011 shows a catapult towed by a pickup truck after it was found in a street of the border city of Agua Prieta, Mexico. According to the SEDENA, this catapult is similar to the one found last Jan. 21 in the same area after a tip from the U.S. National Guard who were operating a remote surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the border fence.(AP Photo/SEDENA-HO)

Tools

By Kelli Sutterman

HERMOSILLO, Mexico (AP) — Drug smugglers are using an ancient invention as a new way to move marijuana across the border from Mexico to Arizona.

The discovery of two "drug catapults" in the Mexican state of Sonora marks the latest twist in the cat-and-mouse game traffickers play with authorities.

U.S. National Guard troops operating a remote surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station say they observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the fence late last week.

A Mexican army officer says the 3-yard (3-meter) tall catapult was found about 20 yards (20 meters) from the U.S. border on a flatbed towed by a sports utility vehicle.

The officer says the catapult was capable of launching 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of marijuana at a time. He says soldiers seized 35 pounds (16 kilograms) of pot, the vehicle and the catapult.

The smugglers left before they could be captured. The surveillance video of them using the catapult was released Wednesday.

A second catapult was discovered Thursday in near Agua Prieta, another border town. Another army officer in that area said an anonymous tip led soldiers to the scene and the catapult was similar to the first.

Mexican officials say it is the first time they have seen this smuggling method used by local traffickers.

Mexican traffickers have previously used planes, tunnels, vehicles, boats and couriers to smuggle drugs into the United States. Colombian drug traffickers have even used homemade submarines.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.


read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG