Smugglers Unsuccessfully Try to ‘Jump’ Border Fence with Jeep and Ramp

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The US Border Patrol discovered an SUV teetering atop an almost 14-foot-high fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, after suspected drug traffickers apparently tried to boldly “jump” the fence using a makeshift ramp.

Border Patrol agents found the vehicle on October 30 near the California-Arizona border, near the Imperial Sand Dunes. According to the Associated Press, two suspected traffickers were trying to free the Jeep Cherokee from the fence, but fled into Mexico when the agents approached. While the vehicle was empty, the Border Patrol believes that it was likely filled with marijuana or other contraband before getting stuck on the fence.

Border Patrol spokesman Spencer Tippets told reporters that this is not the first time that smugglers have tried to use ramps to drive over the fence. In April 2011, a pickup truck with ramps built onto it managed to successfully make it over, but was captured soon after.

InSight Crime Analysis

As security has increased along the U.S.-Mexico border, Mexican traffickers have turned to increasingly creative ways to move their product into the United States, particularly marijuana. Cocaine and heroin are relatively easy to hide and camouflage due to their small size, but marijuana is bulkier. According to Mexican authorities, most cocaine and heroin enters the US through major crossing points such as Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo, whereas marijuana must pass through “blind spots” where there are no authorities in order to evade detection.

These challenges have led to tactics such as using catapults to fling bales of marijuana across the border and digging increasingly sophisticated tunnels from Mexico into the United States. The tunnels, which can be used not only for smuggling drugs but also people, have particularly alarmed U.S. authorities, leading Congress to pass a law in May of this year that tightens previous legislation and allows prosecutors to target those who conspire or attempt to build illegal tunnels.

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