Jan 26, 2011 6:34 PM
TUCSON - Smugglers using a catapult to launch marijuana across the border were observed on a remote video surveillance system, and National Guard troops coordinated with Mexican authorities to disrupt the far-flung operation.
On Friday evening, National Guard troops operating a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station observed several people south of the International Boundary Fence preparing a catapult and launching packages over the International Border fence, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Border Patrol agents working with the National Guard contacted Mexican authorities, who went to the location and disrupted the catapult operation. The camera showed the individuals fleeing the area before they could be intercepted by Mexican authorities.
The Mexican officials seized about 45 pounds of marijuana, a sport utility vehicle, and the catapult device.
"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," states Associate Chief Jose Cruz. "With their continued support and that of the public, we will continue to more effectively address threats before they cross the International Boundary."