Mexico’s National Security Commission announced over the weekend that federal police officers found a panel van kitted out with an air compressor and a metal tube nearly 10 feet long that they believe was used as a bazooka to blast packets of narcotics across the border into the United States.
“The van has a cut in the roof toward the back,” the commission’s press release on the discovery states, “to allow the tube to be used to launch projectiles, possibly from close to the border into the United States.”
The van was found abandoned on Saturday in the town of Agua Prieta, Sonora, across the border from Douglas, Arizona. It had no license plates, and according to the commission, it had been reported stolen in Hermosillo, some 220 miles south of Agua Prieta, on July 1.
Whether hidden in cargo, carted in tunnels, via drug mules, catapulted or carried by drones, illicit drugs are smuggled into the U.S. through a dizzying array of means.
Authorities believe that traffickers have been using homemade cannons since as early as 2012.
According to Business Insider, packets of crystal meth, cocaine and marijuana that might have been fired from them have been found on the U.S. side of the border.