January 27th, 2011
11:41 AM ET

Authorities seize catapult used to hurl pot into Arizona

What will drug smugglers think of next?

In an industry that thrives on innovation, some enterprising Mexican marijuana runners went medieval on the border fence, using a catapult to hurl bricks of weed into Arizona, authorities say.

Grainy video from the Department of Homeland Security shows three men priming the throwing arm of the mechanism. Two of the men step away, and when the remaining man lets go, the catapult chucks its wares over the fence.

Various media reports claim the device was capable of launching about 4 pounds of pot (or, presumably, any substance).

Customs and Border Patrol agents, National Guard troops and Mexican authorities joined forces to disrupt the operation, KOLD-TV and other CNN affiliates reported.

The National Guard, operating a remote surveillance system at the Naco Station, about 100 miles southeast of Tucson, observed the men launching packages south of the border fence, according to KVOA-TV.

KGUN-TV said Mexican authorities were unable to apprehend any of the suspects. The surveillance camera operators witnessed the men fleeing.

A sport utility vehicle, the catapult and 45 pounds of marijuana were seized, the affiliates said.

“The Border Patrol's partnerships with Mexican authorities, the National Guard and the public enhance our efforts to address and disrupt the organized drug trafficking threat at the border and serves to degrade the capabilities of transnational criminal organizations,” Jose Cruz, an associate chief in CBP’s Tucson sector, told KVOA.

They’ve got their work cut out for them chasing smugglers, who have resorted to myriad ingenious means to ferry their drugs across borders.

But after seeing beetles, tunnels, submarines, Jesus statues, coconuts, frozen sharks, flip-flops and even puppies used for smuggling, it's unlikely that much surprises them - even when weed runners rely on the ancient Greeks for their methods.

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Filed under: Arizona • Crime • Drugs • Marijuana • Mexico • Military • Security • Technology
soundoff (319 Responses)
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    February 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. OdessaKom

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    February 15, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Emmy

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    July 30, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
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