Wednesday, February 4, 2009


*Fill in truth/fiction cliche*

Reading the times a few days ago, I saw a story that surpassed anything I'd dare write about. A few months ago, I wrote a brief, 1,500-word story about smugglers running the Mexican border. Obviously, this is something that happens all the time, but I thought I was pushing credulity by including a running gun battle in the middle of the desert.

Here's the story:

Little did I know...

Drug smugglers parked a car transport trailer against the Mexican side of the border one day in December, dropped a ramp over the security fence, and drove two pickup trucks filled with marijuana onto Arizona soil.

Drug smugglers from Mexico burned their truck and the marijuana it carried before fleeing from border agents in Arizona.

As Border Patrol agents gave chase, a third truck appeared on the Mexican side and gunmen sprayed machine-gun fire over the fence at the agents. Smugglers in the first vehicles torched one truck and abandoned the other, with $1 million worth of marijuana still in the truck bed. Then they vaulted back over the barrier into Mexico’s Sonora state.

Despite huge enforcement actions on both sides of the Southwest border, the Mexican marijuana trade is more robust — and brazen — than ever, law enforcement officials say. Mexican drug cartels routinely transported industrial-size loads of marijuana in 2008, excavating new tunnels and adopting tactics like ramp-assisted smuggling to get their cargoes across undetected.

I'm really just speechless. Firing at the Border Patrol with automatic weapons is one thing, but creating a mobile ramp to drive over the fence is some seriously crazy maneuvering.

I also apologize for the missed installment last week - I'll blame it on the Border Patrol, and promise to have a brand-new post this week.

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