Border Patrol agents in Tucson, Arizona seized a modified ultralight aircraft and its illicit cargo of nearly $500,000 in methamphetamine and fentanyl on May 23.
Air and Marine Operations agents monitoring surveillance equipment detected an unknown aircraft entering the United States at approximately 11:00 p.m. The agents electronically tracked the aircraft and directed U.S. Border Patrol units under its path to an improvised landing site south of Tucson.
Agents encountered the ultralight aircraft abandoned along a rural dirt road, with two large plastic storage containers affixed to the fuselage. Canine units on scene inspected the ultralight aircraft and discovered numerous methamphetamine packages inside the containers.
The drugs and aircraft were seized and transported to the Nogales Border Patrol Station, where testing confirmed the packages contained over 143lbs of meth and over 200 grams of fentanyl, with a value of $500,000.
A federal helicopter crew and Border Patrol agents conducted an exhaustive search of the area, but did not find the presumed pilot of the ultralight aircraft.
Transnational criminal organizations use a wide range of techniques to smuggle both humans and narcotics into the United States.