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Drug Catapult Found At US-Mexico Border

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the things-have-been-rough-for-Wile-E dept.

United States 225

suraj.sun writes "According to a Fox News report: 'Drug smugglers trying to get marijuana across the Arizona-Mexico border apparently are trying a new approach — a medieval catapult, capable of launching 4.4 pounds of marijuana at a time. National Guard troops operating a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station say they observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the International Border fence last Friday evening. The 3-yard tall catapult was found about 20 yards from the US border on a flatbed towed by a sports utility vehicle, according to a Mexican army officer with the 45th military zone in the border state of Sonora.'"

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225 comments

Angry Drugs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023772)

This is an iPhone game waiting to happen.

Re:Angry Drugs (3, Interesting)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023828)

That's more of an android game ;).

You say "catapult" (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023954)

I say "trebuchet"

Let's call the whole siege off...

Re:You say "catapult" (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024712)

Definitely not a trebuchet, this uses an elastic spring as the power source. A trebuchet uses a counterweight.

Re:You say "catapult" (0)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025216)

Ah, but it should be a trebuchet! They have a much higher trajectory arc than a mere catapult and that's a more desired feature since the smugglers are trying to get payload over a fence.

Re:Angry Drugs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023980)

This is an iPhone game waiting to happen.

Angry Coyotes?

Re:Angry Drugs (2)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024946)

One of these days someone, in the quest to trim federal spending, fight drugs, and patrol borders, is going to go a few steps beyond remotely controlled web cams.

Imagine if you will a parallel universe, where handling crime is a game. There the government sells "hunting" licenses to website operators that provide cameras and weapons remotely operated over the web by paying players. The war on whatever turns profitable?
Not sure what happens to any captured drugs, maybe the government could auction those off or give them away either to raise money or drive prices down.

The may or may not become an official part of the Game and Party party-platform.

Next you will see (2)

Krojack (575051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023796)

people being launched using this.. Just wait.

Re:Next you will see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023802)

I'd like to see the "fail" videos of that...

Re:Next you will see (2)

muindaur (925372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024148)

Ok Pablo, just hold this large bag tight; then, once you're over the border hold onto the handles tight.

GOOD LUCK SON!

*pulls lever*

AIEEEE!!!!

Re:Next you will see (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023862)

"people being launched using this.. Just wait."

I was thinking the same thing..but that they could kill two birds with one stone so to speak.

Get an illegal to hold the drugs and shoot them BOTH over the fence at the same time!!!

Now...if we just had our sharpshooters ready it would be like shooting MX skeet.

"PULL".....bang....[sombrero goes spinning up in the air]

Re:Next you will see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024102)

Get an illegal to hold the drugs and shoot them BOTH over the fence at the same time!!!

"PULL".....bang....[sombrero goes spinning up in the air]

Hahaha!!

Shooting poor people is funny!

And you're an asshole.

Re:Next you will see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024316)

I feel that the poor have a negative worth since they endure tremendous amount of suffering. I sometimes think we should kill homeless people by giving them high dose of fentanyl mixed with some alprazolam, that way they die happy.

Re:Next you will see (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025220)

"Shooting poor people is funny!"

No...shooting poor people is not funny.

However, shooting invading foreigners while not funny...makes sense I think. We need to do something to protect our borders, hell it is one of the FEW enumerated powers the federal govt. is supposed to have and do per the Constitution.

I have no problem with immigrants who come over through legal channels. Like Dennis Miller once said....I don't care if you want to come over, just sign the fucking guest book on the way in..

We can regulate, and ensure we are getting good people, and keep the criminal element out. I'm for streamlining the immigration policy and laws. But I think we need to have a serious deterrent to people illegally crossing our borders and invading our soil. I'd have no problem with having a no man's land section, and let our military sharpshooters get practice taking out anyone coming across where they shouldn't be. In lieu of that...lets put land mines all along the border.

I mean...anyone not crossing at the designated checkpoints, can't be up to any good...so, lets deter their asses. If we can't build a fence, lets mine it or put up snipers to guard it. I'll be after criminals trying to cross illegally see some head shots and people blowing up...that'll stop that illegal crossing real fucking quick.

Re:Next you will see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024962)

Interestingly enough. What I see is that this catapult is supposedly outside of the US, yet the last pictures in the video show US military uniformed playing with the catapult.

On the bright side, 4lbs only? really?

Trebuchet (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023798)

If the video for the story is correct, then that's not a catapult, it's a trebuchet! (Albeit it replaced the counterweight with some sort of elastic cabling.)

Re:Trebuchet (2)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023976)

While definitions have varied over time, in modern usage the distinction is: a catapult uses tension, while a trebuchet uses a counterweight. Catapults have used quite a few forms of elastic tension to store energy over the centuries: twisting rope was just the most common.

Re:Trebuchet (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024400)

You're almost right. The most common spring wasn't twisted rope, it was twisted rawhide. Rope loses its elasticity almost immediately, rawhide doesn't.

(Scientific American, ca.1971 iirc)

The trebuchet we used in SCA combat (I was baron of Stormhold at the time) was a traction trebuchet; instead of a counterweight, it had four large ropes that people hauled down on, on command. Ours had a 6 metre (18') throwing arm. It was fairly well researched, and could throw a couple of kilograms worth of softballs the length of a football field on a fairly flat trajectory (when it didn't throw them directly up, which was too often).

I transported it to and from events duct-taped to the top of my VW van (the duct tape was for authenticity :P)

Re:Trebuchet (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023990)

Your attempt at being pedantic fails. A trebuchet is just a specific type of catapult. The device is in fact a catapult.

Counter measure (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024468)

What's important is the counter measure. Here is something for the US border patrol to bear in mind:

When faced with enemy trebuchets, cavalry work best due to their high speed and good damage. A small group of Knights make short work of a group of trebuchets. Cavalry archers also work well, especially the Mongol Mangudai due to its bonus damage vs. siege units. Infantry and foot archers are also acceptable but are less desirable due to their lack of speed; this weakness allows the user to spot them early and respond to the situation by unpacking the trebuchets and/or retaliating with an army of his/her own.

Re:Counter measure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024710)

And knights upgrade into helicopter gunships, which lose the bonus for attacking trebuchets but have a much higher move and attack value. Now if you had gotten the blitz promotion, you are talking a lot of dead trebuchets

Re:Trebuchet (2, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024584)

Your attempt at being pedantic fails. A trebuchet is just a specific type of catapult. The device is in fact a catapult.

You are being insufficiently discriminating, sorry. They weren't classed as such, and medieval distinctions between catapults and trebuchets were quite distinct. You had catapults (also called "Onagers", or "rocking donkeys"), ballistae (God's very own crossbow, generally with two distinct arms, from which we derive the term "ballistics") and the various forms of trebuchets, the largest of which could throw a boulder the size of a small cottage. You would no more call them all "catapults" then you would say a strip-miner's Terex load carrier "just a form of car".

So there! (insert Bronx cheer>

Re:Trebuchet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024064)

A trebuchet is a type of catapult

Re:Trebuchet (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024708)

Indeed.

In the same way as a tornado is a type of wind.

We do not say "It was windy yesterday" when we actually mean "a freaking tornado leveled my whole town."

Re:Trebuchet (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024286)

If the video for the story is correct, then that's not a catapult, it's a trebuchet! (Albeit it replaced the counterweight with some sort of elastic cabling.)

Get your eyesight checked. Maybe you'll get some of the MJ prescribed...

Anyway, a trebuchet would have a counterweight, not a bungee-rope to pull the arm.

Re:Trebuchet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024940)

What makes you think a trebuchet is not a catapult?

You statement is the equivalent of "That's not an animal, it a cat!"

It's a trebuchet (1)

ThePangolino (1756190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023814)

Not to mention that catapults are all but medieval.

Re:It's a trebuchet (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023900)

A catapult is a catch-all for a siege weapon that tosses something without explosives, making a trebuchet a type of catapult. It is a catapult that was used in medieval times making it... a medieval catapult!

Re:It's a trebuchet (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024002)

A catapult was basically a giant crossbow.

A ballista is what most people think of as a "catapult". IT's where the modern word ballistic comes from.

Re:It's a trebuchet (3, Funny)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024034)

Not to mention that catapults are all but medieval.

I'd say that launching rotten tomatoes in a catapult would be mid-evil. Launching pillows would be low-evil, and launching nails and rocks hi-evil. But that's just me.

Re:It's a trebuchet (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025182)

Not to mention that catapults are all but medieval.

No, but it's 3 "yards" tall and can launch 4.4 "pounds" or payload. That's pretty medieval.

Why stop it? (1)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023838)

I'd just keep a bunch of officers near where you expect all these packages to land.

Re:Why stop it? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023968)

You realize that the aim can be adjusted on these things, right? The people manning the trebuchet and the people picking up the package are probably in cell phone contact.

Re:Why stop it? (2)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024004)

Most likely, the catapult operators would notice a bunch of police downrange. Five hundred yards with a 40 - 50 foot trebuchet and 4 - 5 pound pumpkin earns you bragging rights.

Anyone else have this idea? (3, Interesting)

Umuri (897961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023868)

I mean surely i'm not the only engineer who's joked that all they really need to do is catapult and parachute to get over the border, with no need for a parachute if they're launching hard projectiles. I mean the range on old catapults and trebuchets was quite well, and could be scaled as a simple matter of physics.

So I suppose next we might find a tunnel that is one mile down and 40 miles under the border to breach the "castle walls" of the united states?

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023974)

Tunnels have already been found... not a mile deep, but crossing the boarder, yes.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024092)

Perhaps we just found the decoy tunnels meant to get the border patrol wasting it's time with mutual back patting.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024374)

If they were decoy tunnels, they sure had a shitload of "decoy" drugs in them.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024454)

Any organization that can just fling drugs over the wall and hope agents on the other side find most of them can easily afford to stock a decoy tunnel with enough to make it look real.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024022)

So I suppose next we might find a tunnel that is one mile down and 40 miles under the border to breach the "castle walls" of the united states?

I was thinking more along the lines of a pack rat with a stomach full of packages as a drug mule. Wow, that is an odd combination of analogies once written. Of course the droppings might rat them out.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024154)

Or an RC plane...

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024436)

Or a weather balloon with a GPS transponder...

or an air canon shooting small packages onto the roof of a friendly warehouse on the US side...

or autonomous boats/submarines...

I saw an MTV documentary one time where they showed how kayaks and sailboats would carry packages of drugs underwater attached to a weighted rope. If the authorities approach, just cut the line and let it sink.

I think if I were a drug kingpin I'd be paying lots of money to some poor graduate students to investigate modifying some native US plant into producing cocaine and morphine, thereby avoiding the border altogether.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025110)

Yea I had this same idea!

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (2)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024782)

Perhaps the next technology they will adopt will be underground pneumatic tubes like they have at banks, hospitals etc. e.g. a massive underground length of PVC pipe, using compressed air to shoot drug packages to the other side.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024958)

As Penn and Teller pointed out on their show Bullshit!, the border "wall" that conservatives keep on talking about building would be completely ineffective. A reasonably enterprising illegal immigrant could breach or bypass said wall in approximately 2 minutes (either climbing over, digging under, or busting a hole in the middle), and given that they've likely traveled for days just to get to the border, the extra 2 minutes aren't going to stop them. Heck, even the Berlin Wall didn't stop people trying to escape from East Berlin to West Berlin - people got past it with balloons, tunneling, and crashing border stations among other methods.

On the upside, I view those as proof that human ingenuity can beat oppression.

Re:Anyone else have this idea? (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025018)

So I suppose next we might find a tunnel that is one mile down and 40 miles under the border to breach the "castle walls" of the united states?

Weeds already did it.

Old prison trick applied to border wall. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023888)

Tossing drug packages over prison walls and into the yard has been around for years with hit and miss success. (intended)

How they found it (5, Funny)

Fauxbo (1393095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023890)

The national started looking for the device when they found a giant baseball glove mounted in the Arizona desert

Yards? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023906)

What the fuck is a yard? Some attempt at medieval humor?

Aha. 0.0136 furlongs tall. Thank-you, Google.

Re:Yards? (1, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024026)

A yard is a perfectly cromunlent extension to the Furlong-Firkin-Fortnight system (the One True Sytem of measurement). While a "link" (or millifurlong) is the preferred unit for formal surveying and land measuement, a "yard" (or 1/220th of a furlong) is fine for casual use.

A friend lives nearby in Bisbee... (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023916)

....and I've been down to visit a couple of times.

When we go hiking in the Coronado National Forest, it's staggering the number of Border Patrol officers/vehicles/activity we see along 92 between Bisbee and Sierra Vista.

I don't know how you could get away with anything on that stretch of the border, but given the close proximity of Naco, MX and Naco, AZ, maybe just getting over the fence is all that matters, since the fence is pretty much the width of the border there.

Medievil Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023932)

NEIL... is that you buddy?

Pro-Catipult (4, Funny)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023934)

Normally I'm pro-legalization, but I'm much more pro-catapult. So if anti-drug legislation can bring us the catapults of our dreams, then may it is the answer. Then again, we could legalize and then just require all distribution to be done via catapult. It's a win/win.

Re:Pro-Catipult (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024108)

I think I agree here.... even more so with revelations that it was a trebuchet.

Hmmm you know, it is a siege weapon. Actually, I think they should be charged with waging war on the United States. Why? Because that way they could go down in History as the most recent use of a trebuchet in a battle.

And that... that would almost be worth the time.

I, for one, welcome the invasion of our trebuchet weilding enemies, and tell them to bring it on! We should meet them on the field of battle... and... twist up a doober.

Re:Pro-Catipult (1)

JoeRandomHacker (983775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024220)

Quiet! You're legitimizing the War On Drugs! After all, if we are literally under assault by drug smuggling then we have to respond with military action, right?

Re:Pro-Catipult (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024336)

Yes but, we can totally win the drug war. All we have to do is respond in Kind. We have much better ammo to load into our drug trebuches! We lob over a few bales of the sticky icky from Humbolt county, Vermont, or even some of that canadian shit, and I garauntee, the battle will be over quickly...even quicker if we slip some papers in.

This battle is totally winnable.

Pumpkin Chunkin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023938)

Dude, anyone who watches Pumpkin Chunkin knows that Air Canons are much better than catapults.

http://science.discovery.com/tv/punkin-chunkin/

Re:Pumpkin Chunkin (1)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024076)

Air cannons are a Canadian thing. I wouldn't be surprised if that got built north of the border.

Re:Pumpkin Chunkin (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024298)

Man, there is so much unprotected border with Canada they don't need anything crazy to cross. They can just pack it onto ATV's and drive it across at night.

I grew up in Maine and we used to joke that getting drugs across the border was the easy part. The only problem is that once you get into Maine it's still hundreds of miles to get the drugs to anybody that wants it and isn't already growing their own.

How long until used for immigration purposes? (1)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024044)

Am I the only one who pictured this being expanded upon in a Simpsons episode to include an immigrant launcher as well?

Lame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024056)

And here I was picturing some massive contraption with a range of significant fractions of miles, not a rinky-dink little device to sling a package over a fence. As someone said... scaling it is just a matter of physics. Why go small? With a heavy enough payload wind wouldn't be too much of a factor - you could pretty well calculate where it would land, even over fairly lengthy distances. Just make sure it doesn't show up on nearby radars...

Units (1)

Bantha Fodder (66573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024074)

capable of launching 4.4 pounds of marijuana

While I appreciate the conversion for those of us north of said border, this is marijuana we're talking about, so "2 kilos" works just fine.

Re:Units (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024228)

Damn, drugs are so European.

Re:Units (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024634)

not exactly, you will see
weed is usually sold in a multiple of the following quantities:
1g
3.5g (1/8oz)
7g(1/4oz)
14g(1/2oz)
1oz
1lb
500g
1Kg

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024788)

here are the price from a reputable crack-house in Montreal:
1g = 10$
3.5g = 20$
7g = 35$
14g = 70$
28g = 135$
1lb = 1200$
500g = 1225$
1Kg = 2200$
If you want it delivered it is about 15% more expensive

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024206)

Wonder when they will try drones next? Some of those model airplanes are huge, easily big enough to carry a small payload. With the right kits, available on the internet, you could make one of the drones able to fly to a GPS destination potentially dozens of miles past the border.

Making the drone able to land on it's own would be tough, but you could have an operator at the landing area take control of it and land it. The autopilot would be a simple one capable of level flight only.

Original intention (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024238)

This wasn't the original intention of this device. There was some confusion because the word "high" wasn't translated properly from English to Spanish

Must not have been any French in their group.. (2)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024246)

No broken giant wooden rabbits were found on the US side of the border.

From TFA: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024360)

The smugglers left the area before they could be catapulted.

False advertising (0)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024370)

When I read the heading I was excited but it turns out that the Mexicans are just using some kind of launching device instead of a 65-ton fire support 'mech. That would've been way cooler and it would also deter border patrol officers from interfering - you never know if that LRM-20 that just acheived a lock on you carries drugs or explosives.

Then again, wouldn't a Gauss Rifle make for a much more effective delivery system?

UAVs?? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024378)

I always wondered why the cartels haven't invested in UAVs. It must be pretty simple now days to build a GPS guided device with enough payload to make the more expensive drugs worthwhile to ship

Re:UAVs?? (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024806)

That's and idea. How about model rockets stuffed with heroin or cocaine? Elastic launched gliders? Kites? Potato cannons?That may work.

Tunnels and subs are old news.
Those plucky Mexicans are so innovative.

Here's a nice potato cannon link:
http://www.spudtech.com/ [spudtech.com]

Re:UAVs?? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024920)

I always wondered why the cartels haven't invested in UAVs. It must be pretty simple now days to build a GPS guided device with enough payload to make the more expensive drugs worthwhile to ship

Might work for cocaine / heroin but marijuana is pretty bulky. You'd want a UAV the size of a DC-3. And it really isn't 'easy' to build large UAVs - even ones with just, say, 10 kg payloads. Easy is a semisubmersible [wikipedia.org] . Interestingly, even though they have capacities of several tons, they appear to be used more for high value cocaine that plain old pot.

Coming in October (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024416)

DEA infiltrates annual "Pun'kin Chunk'in" event claiming they traffic in drug paraphernalia Video crew jailed on suspicion of not respecting their authoritay

Fire back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024538)

I suppose we could use this tactic against them. Setup a catapult in each state capitol and fire illegal aliens back at them. It would reduce deportation costs significantly since the only real cost would be a parachute per illegal. Target CalderÃn's house.

return fire! (1)

bluie- (1172769) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024612)

To thank them for all these free drugs, we should catapult them some weapons... preferably catapults!

one does not simply... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024704)

One does not simply walk across the US border...
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