(Reuters) - U.S. border cops in far-west Arizona have seized an off-road go-kart and trailer packed with marijuana, in the latest bizarre attempt by Mexican smugglers to beat beefed up border security.
The Border Patrol’s Yuma sector said agents and officers from the Cocopah Tribal Police Department spotted the single-seater go-kart hauling a trailer through the desert near Yuma, Arizona on Tuesday night and gave chase.
The driver abandoned the homemade vehicle, which was spray painted a desert beige, fitted with knobbly off-road tires, and towing a trailer packed with 217 pounds of marijuana, about 100 yards from the border, and fled back to Mexico.
“It’s not something that we see very often,” agent Spencer Tippets said of the attempt. “Smuggling organizations are always trying to adjust and change their tactics,” he added.
In recent years U.S. authorities have added additional fencing, agents and technologies including unmanned surveillance drones to tighten security along Arizona’s porous border with Mexico.
Drug traffickers have responded with a variety of ruses including strapping marijuana loads to low-flying microlight aircraft and even hurling it over the border fence using medieval style catapults.
The go-kart and marijuana, worth an estimated $108,600, were turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. No arrests were made.
Reporting By Tim Gaynor