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Border agents bust drug smuggling makeshift ferry

January 11, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Border agents bust drug smuggling makeshift ferry

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Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol working in the Rio Grande Valley Sector intercepted a smuggling attempt using a makeshift ferry to transport drugs into the U.S.

Officers assigned to the Fort Brown Station noticed a Jeep Grand Cherokee making landfall on Thursday on the northern side of the Rio Grande, located south of Brownsville, Texas.

The Jeep immediately traveled northward into Texas, The Brownsville Herald reported.

As the car drove north away from the river, Border Patrol agents promptly acted to intercept the SUV. The suspect only managed to drive a short distance into the U.S.

After turning around to head back towards the river; officers pulled over the SUV. The driver leaped out of the Jeep-turned-makeshift ferry and into the river and swam south of the border.

Courtesy: US Customs and Border Protection

Smugglers are known to drive their vehicle straight into the river while trying to evade capture. The attempt will sometimes allow other smugglers on the Mexican side of the river to jump in and grab some of the drugs before American authorities can seize them.

Authorities searched the Jeep and recovered 26 bundles of marijuana. The drugs weighed 600 pounds and had an estimated street value of approximately $500,000.

No apprehensions were made as the smuggler escaped back to Mexico to evade arrest and prosecution. The agency seized the Jeep and the drugs.

Smugglers also frequently use small rafts to transport human smuggling cargo across the Rio Grande. The method of makeshift ferries to move vehicles across the border is not as popular.

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