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Police discover homemade bazooka used to launch drugs over the border

September 20, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Police discover homemade bazooka used to launch drugs over the border

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Mexican federal police in Sonora discovered a panel van with modifications so it could carry a  homemade bazooka “Cannon,” which was potentially used to propel drugs over the border into the United States.

Federal police reported that officers spotted the vehicle while it was parked in the municipality of Agua Prieta, in the state of Sonora,  which borders both Texas and Arizona. The van was discovered with its doors ajar and without license plates.

According to local media reports, inside of the car, law enforcement officials observed “an air compressor, a gasoline motor, a tank for storing air and a metallic tube of approximately 3 meters in length (homemade bazooka).”

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Mexican federal police load components of a homemade cannon and in a van near the US border in mid-September 2016.

The “unit,” as the announcement referred to it, also had a slit in the end that could have allowed the metal tube to be hooked up to launch projectiles so that things could be launched over the border.

The vehicle was also implicated in a car theft in Hermosillo, Sonora, according to an investigation stemming from July 1st, according to the Business Insider.

Since 2012, U.S. officials have stated that drug traffickers have made use of these forms of cannons. Cans and packets of crystal meth, cocaine, and marijuana have been discovered on the U.S. side of the border, and, the Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that those projectiles could propel drugs from 200 meters inside of Mexico.

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The cannon-laden van was seized in recent weeks in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

The region surrounding Agua Prieta has been the primary location of both high- and low-tech smuggling efforts. In the late 1980s, the Sinaloa cartel, under the leadership of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, constructed one of its first “narco tunnels” there, which spanned about 200 feet between a residence in Agua Prieta and a cartel-owned facility in Douglas, Arizona.

“Tell [the Colombians] to send all the drugs they can,” Chapo directed after the tunnel was completed.

Since 2011, smugglers a few miles outside of Agua Prieta made a more conspicuous effort to transport drugs across the border: They were seen constructing a sling south of the fence. Mexican officials moved in and apprehended the catapult along with 45 pounds of marijuana.

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