High-speed chase after landing results in smugglers abandoning cannabis.

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Yet another would-be smuggler ended up swimming the Rio Grande River back to Mexico after a failed bid to surreptitiously bring cannabis into the U.S.

This time, though, smugglers married inventiveness with practicality when they rafted a Ford Ranger jammed with 565 pounds (256 kilograms) of weed across the river from Mexico into the U.S., not far from Brownsville, Tex.

The attempt did not escape the notice of agents with the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Border Patrol’s Fort Brown station, notes a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

  1. Packages containing 1,241 pounds of marijuana seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge. / PHOTO BY U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

    U.S. customs tipped off when driver coming from Mexico to Texas seemed to be hauling absolutely nothing

  2. Brownsville Border Patrol Station agents working near the river traced the prints north to a muddy field where they found the pot. PHOTO BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

    Border patrol agents follow footprints along Rio Grande and discover nearly 200 pounds of cannabis

  3. The driver and an estimated 10 other men exited the SUV and began throwing large bundles, later confirmed to be cannabis, over the gate. / PHOTO BY EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

    Operation Lone Star gets its weed, but not its men

Once the pick-up truck made landfall in Texas, the agents and troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) worked to initiate a vehicle stop. But the driver would not yield, opting to speed toward the Rio Grande River. At that point, the driver abandoned the truck and swam back to Mexico.


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The pick-up truck was promptly searched and the agent discovered 24 bundles of marijuana that were valued at more than US$452,000 ($546,920). The weed and truck were turned over to DPS.

It is certainly not the first time that a cannabis-smuggling bid from Mexico to the U.S. has had to be abandoned, leaving the would-be suspects all wet.

Last October, CBP agents in Texas spotted several individuals crossing the river while carrying bundles. When they reached a park on the U.S. side of the river, the agents saw the swimmers load what turned out to be 300 pounds (136 kg) of cannabis into a sports utility vehicle that had entered the park.

But the driver refused to yield to authorities, opting to change course toward the river and drive the vehicle into the water, before swimming back to Mexico.


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“Smugglers continue to use dangerous and reckless tactics like this, putting criminal profits in front of public safety,” chief patrol agent Matthew Hudak said in a CBP statement at the time.

Just hours after the latest dip into the Rio Grande River, RGV agents probing suspected illegal activity near La Rosita, Tex. had to deal with another smuggling bid that worked, but was undone by a clear roadmap to the booty.

In another example of footprints in the sand tipping off the authorities (and, apparently, passesrby), the agents “observed shoe prints leading into the thick brush,” notes the CBP statement. Entering the brush, the officers found 33 abandoned bundles of cannabis — weighing 380 pounds (172 kg) and estimated to be worth more than US$305,000 ($369,050) — under a tarp.

Agents were unable to locate any suspects.


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SOURCE: https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/raft-used-to-ferry-a-pick-up-truck-full-of-weed-across-the-rio-grande-river-into-the-u-s