Past Features

September 30, 2015

Ultralight "Bombs" Nogales
DHS Ignores solution

SEIDARM security system detects ultralight crossing Mexico border.
CNN -- September 28, 2015   
Weed whack: Pot bundle crashes through family carport in Arizona
   An Arizona family called police after discovering a bundle of marijuana had crashed through the roof of their carport in the middle of the night and landed in an empty dog crate.
    Nogales police said it was possible the marijuana was dropped by an ultralight aircraft because drug bundles are known to have been dropped by small aircraft. But police suspect pilot error may be to blame because usually the bundles, when discovered by police, are dropped on the city outskirts or in the desert.
    "Normally they don't land on houses," Detective Robert Ferros told CNN.
    The 28-pound bundle, packaged in brown and black tape, "was actually kind of light" compared with previous drug drops intercepted by police, Ferros said.
    The marijuana bundle tore a hole in the family's carport roof.
    "We have seen bundles of marijuana being carried by ultralight aircraft weighing several hundred or a thousand pounds," he said.
    Last year, he said, police followed an ultralight that dropped several hundred pounds of marijuana in an iron rod basket containing eight tightly wrapped bundles.
    Smugglers also sometimes use catapults to launch drug packages over the border from Mexico, he said.
    Nogales sits on the U.S. border, and the house where the drugs crashed into the carport is about 1,000 feet from Mexico.
    The homeowners told police they heard a loud noise just after midnight September 8 but thought it was thunder. The dogs barked a lot, but the family didn't check on it.
    They found the contraband the next morning, upright in the middle of the plastic dog crate, right below a hole in the carport roof.
    Police said the marijuana has a street value of about $10,000.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
What is going on here?
    For more than four years our organization has been testing a system that can detect ultralight aircraft. Yet, even though the head of technology for Customs and Border Patrol has been aware of this technology for more than two years, he hasn't seen fit to take a closer look.
    The same goes for Rep. Martha McSally --- and she represents a border district.
    All I can ask is: What is going on here?