Border Patrol Seizes Ultralight Aircraft Loaded with Meth, Fentanyl

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seize ultralight aircraft with a load of methamphetamine and fentanyl. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector

Tucson Sector agents received notice from Air and Marine Operations surveillance equipment monitors about an ultralight aircraft flying from Mexico into the U.S. The agents tracked down the ultralight and seized a shipment of methamphetamine and fentanyl.

Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents monitoring electronic border surveillance equipment observed an unknown aircraft entering U.S. airspace shortly before midnight on Thursday. The agents notified Border Patrol agents that the aircraft landed on a makeshift airfield south of Tucson, according to information obtained from Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials.

Border Patrol agents from the Nogales and Tucson Stations arrived at the scene and located an abandoned ultralight aircraft that landed on a dirt road. The smugglers loaded the aircraft with two large plastic storage containers. A K-9 agent alerted to the odor of drugs and agents searched the containers. The search revealed numerous packages containing what agents believe to be methamphetamine, officials reported.

The agents seized the drugs and the aircraft. Despite an extensive search by Border Patrol agents and an AMO helicopter aircrew, the pilot of the aircraft was nowhere to be found.

Once at the station, the agents tested and weighed the drugs. They determined the load consisted of 143 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 200 grams of fentanyl. Officials did not disclose an estimated value of the drugs.

In December, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents tracked down two ultralight aircraft that Mexican cartels used to smuggle more than $1.4 million in methamphetamine, Breitbart News reported.

Smugglers have also used drones to smuggle drugs.

Recently, Border Patrol agents in the El Paso Sector witnessed smugglers utilizing a drone to act as a scout for human smuggling operations, Breitbart News reported in April. The tactic came to light as an agent monitoring the border with an infrared camera observed a small airborne object traveling north into the U.S. from Mexico. The object made its way about 100 yards into the U.S. before returning to Mexico. The agent observed this behavior three more times.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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