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|Photos from Border Patrol-Campo Ca|
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. — The recent use of a large folding ramp to allow drug-carrying vehicles to leapfrog the border fence goes to show the ingenuity of the smugglers, says a Mexican police chief in this city. And Federal Preventative Police Commander Gaston Loaiza says drug traffickers will only get more sophisticated and ingenious in their methods of moving their product into the United States and on to users. His comments came days after Border Patrol agents on patrol in the Barry M. Goldwater Range east of Yuma discovered the folding ramp extending over the border fence from a large truck parked on the Mexican side. Agents found the ramp while chasing a Jeep Cherokee that apparently had just used the ramp to carry across 1,000 pounds of marijuana. “We believe that the ramp could have been used previously,” Loiza said, “but it is a sign that there is a lot of drug smuggling activity in that area.” The area is so heavily used by traffickers, he added, that the day after the discovery, Mexican federal police officers arrested two people as they were preparing to cross on foot in same location with a total of 20 kilos of marijuana strapped to their backs. The fence is part of the U.S. government’s efforts over the past decade to fortify the border against alien and drug smuggling through the use of added barriers and surveillance technology and more agents. But Loaiza said the ramp is proof traffickers will not be stopped by the fence and will always seek ways to carry contraband across the border…
It was what appeared to be a midnight smuggling run pitting a Jeep Cherokee versus the 14-foot border fence. The fence won. Suspected smugglers on Tuesday tried to go up and over the barrier at California’s Imperial Sand Dunes on a makeshift ramp, not an uncommon tactic employed by Mexican smugglers since border fencing was erected in the area in recent years. But the Jeep high-centered on the way down, leaving the rear wheels spinning in the air. When U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived minutes later, the vehicle was hanging from the barrier, suspended between Mexico and California. The hatchback of the Jeep was open, leading authorities to believe the suspected smugglers may have somehow retrieved the drugs before fleeing. Their ramp, U.S. Border Patrol authorities said in a statement, was “not quite up to the task.”
Below:“U.S. seeks answers on border security; reporting in Mexico.” Tucson Sentinel.
Yuma Sector agents pursued a Chevy Tahoe that used ramps to cross a shallow portion of the Colorado River at the U.S.-Mexico border. The two suspects, unable to get the vehicle back over the barrier once they turned back, abandoned it and fled into Mexico on foot. Officers discovered 23 tightly wrapped bricks of marijuana (281 pounds) in the vehicle and followed tire tracks to a second vehicle that was transporting heavy metal ramps like those used to get the Chevy Tahoe over the border barrier.
Tim Gaynor, “As border tightens, smugglers raise their game.” Reuters. 10 March 2008,