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Cartel smuggler ditches 800 pounds of marijuana in South Texas, swims back to Mexico

July 3, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Cartel smuggler ditches 800 pounds of marijuana in South Texas, swims back to Mexico

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Cartel-linked drug smugglers, who were trying to evade Border Patrol agents, carried out a “splashdown” into the Rio Grande before ditching the drug load.

Agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector noticed the driver of a pickup traveling through a golf course near the riverbank that divides the U.S. from Mexico.

The truck was loaded with bundles of marijuana, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro said in a statement.

According to Valley Central, after observing the agents coming toward him, the driver turned around and drove the pickup into the river in a “splashdown” method.

Drug smugglers use this technique to achieve two things. First, the driver and any associates hope to avoid capture by getting into the river and swimming to Mexico.

800 pounds if weed seized in South Texas Photo: U.S. Border Patrol

Second, cartel-associated smugglers will often stand by with rafts, boats, or other means of getting to the river-bound car and trying to recover the drugs before Border Patrol agents can get to them.

In this instance, the agents were able to seize the drugs without issue. Agents discovered 37 bundles of marijuana. The bundles weighed over 800 pounds. Castro said the drug load had an estimated street value of roughly $641,320.

The driver and his passenger swam to the other side and evaded capture.

Castro said the rate of these “splashdown” maneuvers is rising in the Rio Grande Valley as smugglers try to avoid apprehension. There have been 14 incidents in the Rio Grande since the beginning of the fiscal year.

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