Tucson, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents and members of the National Guard coordinated with Mexican authorities to prevent a drug smuggling attempt Friday evening near Naco, Ariz. Mexican officials responded and seized approximately 45 pounds of marijuana, a sport utility vehicle, and a catapult capable of launching contraband into the U.S.
As part of the Sept. 8 deployment of 504 National Guard personnel to the Tucson Sector, National Guard troops assigned to operate the remote video surveillance system at the Naco station observed several individuals just south of the international boundary fence preparing a catapult. Border Patrol agents assigned to the International Liaison Unit contacted Mexican authorities who responded to the area and disrupted the catapult operation. Camera operators observed individuals fleeing the area, presumably to avoid apprehension.
"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. With their continued support and that of the public, we will continue to more effectively address threats before they cross the International Boundary," stated Associate Chief Jose Cruz.
The video file below contains surveillance footage of the smugglers attempting to use the catapult, followed by footage of Mexican authorities removing it and a number of images from the seizure.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.