Cartels Used Makeshift Raft to Smuggle Drug-Loaded Trucks Across Texas Border

Cartel Seizure
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Drug cartels in Mexico are once again changing tactics in order to get their drugs into the United States. The most recent innovation was discovered when federal authorities found a large makeshift raft that traffickers were using to float vehicles, fully loaded with drugs, across the Rio Grande and into the U.S.

Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol seized the makeshift raft this week after chasing a Jeep that had been loaded with approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Border Patrol revealed. The jeep had been floated from Mexico into America using the makeshift raft. The smuggling vessel appears to have been made by using a flatbed trailer with multiple 55-gallon drums attached to it.

Cartel Raft - Photo: U.S. Border Patrol

Cartel Raft – Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Once the jeep had crossed the river, the driver had tried to leave the area but some agents spotted the suspicious vehicle and tried to pull it over which started a chase. The two men in the drug loaded Jeep turned around and drove straight back towards the Rio Grande where they tried to drive the SUV into the river but failed after getting stuck it the thick brush. Both passenger and driver jumped out of the Jeep and swam into Mexico leaving the drugs behind.

Drug Smuggling

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Shortly after, agents responded to another area along the river after a citizen reported that a truck had gone into the water. When the agents arrived they were able to see three drug smugglers who had managed to cross into Mexico. Inside the truck, authorities found 200 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.

The use of a large makeshift raft for vehicles appears to be the first of its kind in the area since in the past drug traffickers simply swam the drug bundles or floated them on an inflatable raft toward a parked vehicle on the U.S. side. It remains unclear if the shift in tactics will catch on with cartel smugglers. 

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.