A van in Mexico was upgraded with a 10-foot cannon to shoot drugs across the U.S./Mexico border, Mexican Federal Police report. The van was parked along the border in southeastern Arizona near Douglas, and was previously reported stolen in Sonora, Mexico.
A hole was cut into the top of the van where the cannon would project packages across the border, according to ABC News. An air compressor was found with the van, which is speculated to be used to launch the packages. In a statement, it was noted that the packages sent over the border were softball size packages of marijuana.
Many of the packages were said to have landed in private citizens’ backyards. A smuggler pays a person on the U.S. side to pick up the packages. The packages are distributed throughout the U.S. from there.
High-pressure cannons can send packages weighing 60-pounds across the border, according to Vicente Paco, U.S. Border Patrol Spokesman. Catapult launchers have also been used in the past. The creativity to get marijuana across U.S. borders doesn’t stop there. Heavy equipment has even been used to lift trucks with marijuana in them over the fence, which is 26-feet high.
Video has secured evidence, as recent as this March, of people scaling the border fence at Nogales with big loads of marijuana. This type of smuggler is referred to as a “Mexican Spiderman” since they are able to climb the fences and reach the ground so quickly.
Devices like the cannon in the van are rarely used, so reports of unconventional methods only occur every couple of years, according to Vicente Paco.