01/27/2011

Video: Pot-firing catapult found at Ariz.-Mexico border

The 3-meter (3-yard) tall catapult was found about 20 meters (20 yards) from the U.S. border

By Felipe Larios
Associated Press

HERMOSILLO, Mexico — Drug smugglers trying to get marijuana across the Arizona-Mexico border apparently are trying a new approach — a catapult.

National Guard troops operating a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station say they observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the International Border fence last Friday evening.

Tucson TV station KVOA says Border Patrol agents working with the National Guard contacted Mexican authorities, who went to the location and disrupted the catapult operation.

The 3-meter (3-yard) tall catapult was found about 20 meters (20 yards) from the U.S. border on a flatbed towed by a sports utility vehicle, according to a Mexican army officer with the 45th military zone in the border state of Sonora.

The catapult was capable of launching 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of marijuana at a time, the officer said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

Soldiers seized found 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of marijuana, the vehicle and the catapult device, the officer said.

The smugglers left the area before they could be captured.

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