Smugglers abandon 700 lbs. of marijuana after shootout with Border Patrol


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Desertdog
June 16, 2006, 03:41 PM
Smugglers abandon 700 lbs. of marijuana after shootout with Border Patrol
http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=5037891

Border Agents are dealing with the aftermath of a dangerous security breach.

Wednesday night, in the Tucson Sector six miles southeast of Nogales, a half mile north of the border, a Mercedes Benz SUV was caught crossing the line on a rural, dirt road.

Six Border Patrol agents moved in to stop it, and that's when the gunfire rang out.

Border Patrol agents stood guard as the Critical Incidents Investigation Team took a close look at the crime scene.

A Border Patrol helicopter flew overhead, also protecting the agents below.

Marked tennis balls showed the bullet casings left behind.

The FBI says more than four people began shooting at Border Patrol agents Wednesday night.

They came under fire when they saw a Mercedes SUV coming into the country. This is an area heavily traveled by drug smugglers.

Border Patrol spokesman Sean King says, "The lead vehicle that was behind the SUV was struck twice, once in the windshield and once in the radiator. Agents then returned fire, and a numer of suspects left the vehicle and headed towards Mexico."

Vehicle barricades are currently what Border Patrol agents are constructing.

The shooting took place less than a 100 yards from here. The Mercedes SUV came through the road behind me where the vehicle barricades hadn't been built yet.

Agent King says, "We're placing vehicle barricades as quickly as we can."

So the drug smugglers got away, but they left behind more than 700 pounds of marijuana valued at over half a million dollars.

So far this year, there have been more than 100 assaults against Border Patrol agents, making this a very dangerous job.

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Biker
June 16, 2006, 03:44 PM
Not a bad haul, but some enemy body count would have been nice. Nah, this isn't a war, an invasion.

Biker

PinnedAndRecessed
June 16, 2006, 04:19 PM
It would be apropos to deploy one of these bad boys to the scene.

http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/web/web_030128-O-9999J-028.jpg

longeyes
June 16, 2006, 04:20 PM
I think Bush needs to stop this **** or resign. Let's cut to the chase.

ArmedBear
June 16, 2006, 05:14 PM
more than 700 pounds of marijuana valued at over half a million dollars

From Mexico? Bull.:p

GTSteve03
June 16, 2006, 05:41 PM
From Mexico? Bull.
It's a form of misinformation perpetuated by the DEA to make it seem like they collected more drugs than they really did. Helps them pad their budgets for all the nice tacti-cool SWAT gear.

No dealer in his right mind buys bulk marijuana at street-level prices, and the distributors know this. The middlemen all buy/sell at wholesale prices and only a small amount actually gets sold at the highest price.

wingnutx
June 16, 2006, 05:45 PM
From Mexico?

Yeah, it's not like they smuggled it from Humbolt County.

I concur on the AC-130.

Or give BP agents an AT-4 to carry.

Sindawe
June 16, 2006, 05:49 PM
Hey, the Mexican pot farmers and smugglers are just doing the jobs that Americans refuse to do. :neener:

Or are not permited to do. :banghead: I concur on the AC-130. Same here.

Old Fuff
June 16, 2006, 06:29 PM
I don't know about the AC-130, but we do have some Warthogs playing tag around here .... :evil:

Standing Wolf
June 16, 2006, 10:29 PM
I have no idea why we fight the famous War on Drugs harder than we fight to defend our own nation.

hoji
June 16, 2006, 10:32 PM
Half a mil for Mexican weed?:what: BS

Dravur
June 17, 2006, 12:18 AM
by Longeyes argument, the whole of the senate and the house should also resign...Bill Clinton should retroactively resign. And any government agency head should resign. In fact, everyone should resign.

Get over it.

I am of the opinion that we should mine the border and put up hundreds of miles of concertina wire with attached wolverines, but that is unrealistic. At least the Wolverines are. For all his faults, GW has done more than Bill Clinton... Is it enough? nope, but its a start. Maybe as the tide turns against illegals, more will be done. We have to start somewhere.

Also, by the logic of only a small amount gets sold at the highest price....Do the middlemen smoke 695 lbs of it and only 5 lbs makes it to the street? I think I saw this on AMWAY once. so what if it isn't worth half a mil, it's still 700 lbs and thats a good start.

Biker
June 17, 2006, 12:24 AM
Do a bit of checking and you'll find that Clinton prosecuted more employers for hiring illegals than Bush has.
And by the way, why did Bush wait 5 years to make a showing? Did Clinton offer up amnesty for 20 million illegals?
Your bias is showing.;)

Biker

kjeff50cal
June 17, 2006, 12:52 AM
Could not they go to Home De-pot to get their drugs :p

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/14/home.depot.drugs/index.html

Drug caches found in Home Depot vanities
From Stacey Francisco
CNN


(CNN) -- Large quantities of drugs were found inside merchandise from at least two Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, and authorities are investigating, police said Wednesday.

A contractor late last week discovered two 50-pound "bricks" of marijuana wrapped in plastic bags inside a bathroom vanity he had purchased at a Home Depot store in Tewksbury, said Chief of Detectives Lt. Dennis Peterson.

The estimated street value of the marijuana is around $145,000, Peterson said. (Watch as do-it-yourself goes to pot -- 1:30)

Similar incidents have occurred in other parts of the state.

A plumber purchased a vanity in western Massachusetts on Monday in which he later found 3 kilograms of cocaine and around 40 pounds of marijuana, with a total estimated street value of $250,000, according to the Southwick Police Department.

Southwick Police Lt. David A. Ricardi said the item was purchased at "a local hardware store" but would not confirm it came from The Home Depot.

According to Peterson, a third individual discovered large quantities of illegal drugs inside Home Depot merchandise.

Peterson would not provide the details of that incident but said it was part of the overall investigation and that Tewksbury police were working with their Southwick counterparts and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Tewksbury police and DEA officials conducted a search Tuesday of about 12 Home Depot stores statewide and found other bathroom vanities that contained drugs, Peterson said. He would not elaborate on how many drug caches were discovered in the search.

In each incident being investigated by Tewksbury Police, all of the merchandise boxes originated from a Texas location and were distributed through one Massachusetts warehouse, Peterson said.

"I'm sure the packages were being shipped to the distribution center and someone was supposed to intercept them," Peterson said. "So that person [who was supposed to intercept the packages] either wasn't on duty that day or the packages were marked wrong."

The Southwick and Tewksbury Police Departments both said The Home Depot was cooperating fully with their investigations, and no one employed by the company is a suspect at this time.

Both departments also said none of the customers who purchased the vanities that contained drugs are suspects.

In a written statement, The Home Depot said, "The company is cooperating with authorities as they investigate this matter, and we will support law enforcement in any way possible to help bring those responsible to justice."

Dravur
June 17, 2006, 01:10 AM
your bias NEVER shows....

but yes, when something happens, like a kitten gets stuck up a tree, my first thought is not, IT'S BUSH's FAULT! I tend to look at the facts.... In this case, they busted 700 lbs of pot. Great. Good start. It wasn't an offer for the population to come out and slam Bush. So many of these threads get started talking about a problem and no matter what it is, the Bush bashers have to hijack the thread to make some illogical point.

You say that Clinton prosecuted more employers.... Wow, love to see the evidence to that.

Why did Bush wait 5 years? Maybe the same reason Clinton waited 8 and still did nothing about it.... It wasn't on the public radar. Now it is. Now it is a political hot potato. As issues come forth and decline, they gain importance. Clinton did little about it. Bush has not done enough, but hopefully that will change. But it is a start.

Byron Quick
June 17, 2006, 01:13 AM
700 pounds is a good start? Is this stand up comedy or what?

My former next door neighbor, Harry Coursey, was undercover for the GBI down on the coast. Infiltrated a smuggler operation. Was put in charge of landing zone security:D 75 ton bust. There was not a day when marijuana was not available in the weeks after this bust. The price wobbled not a dollar up or down.

Economics 101 will inform you that taking 75 tons away from the supply was not enough constriction of the supply to affect the price.

If your efforts at prohibition are not even affecting the free market price, guess what? The decades wasted, billions of dollars spent, and the steady erosion of the rights of every US citizen in that 'war' have not added up to a 'good start.'

Sounds as if the Border Patrol needs some crew served weapons though.

Note: Harry retired several years ago as the acting director of the GBI. I'm not outing an active undercover officer or anything. Not even giving him unwanted publicity. He had a website on his ministry and motorcycling a while back.

GTSteve03
June 17, 2006, 01:35 AM
My former next door neighbor, Harry Coursey, was undercover for the GBI down on the coast. Infiltrated a smuggler operation. Was put in charge of landing zone security 75 ton bust. There was not a day when marijuana was not available in the weeks after this bust. The price wobbled not a dollar up or down.
I'm constantly amazed when I see the "street price" of the amount of drugs busted in all of these raids. Does the .gov not realize what percentage of that cut they could be making if they'd just make marijuana legal? I mean, 5% of half a million dinero from one bust isn't chump change, is it? Think about the massive amount of goods moving around.

Destructo6
June 17, 2006, 04:40 AM
The pot isn't worth a lot south of the border. As it gets further north, it gains value. They apparently valued it enough this time to attempt murder and bring down some significant heat.

The size of the seizure isn't remarkable here. What's remarkable is what they were willing to do to protect a measely 600lbs, assuming that was their goal.

Oleg Volk
June 17, 2006, 04:46 AM
(edited upon more careful reading)

Creeping Incrementalism
June 17, 2006, 08:02 AM
So we cheer at an attempted murder by border patrol agents over what, dry grass which people want to buy of their own free will?

It's wrong for the Border Patrol to shoot back when they pull over a random vehicle and start getting shot at?

Art maybe you should lock this thread, I think it is degenerating into trash-talking about police.

strambo
June 17, 2006, 09:01 AM
I don't think they were shooting to protect the measley 700lbs of pot so much as they were breaking contact. Lay down fire to temporarily fix/suppress the enemy (BP agents) and do your best 800m sprint across the border. Doubly smart if they were aiming for the radiator.

The National Guard would be handy in these situations if nearby, especially infantry guys. We'd approach it as a military problem once the bullets fly...BP guys probably have a hard time switching out of police mode.

strambo
June 17, 2006, 09:14 AM
Umm, maybe I missed something, but I don't see how getting shot at by armed foreign invaders and returning fire constitutes attempted murder on the part of the BP agents. Furthermore, the "War On Drugs" is completely irrelevant in this (any border) case. It doesn't matter what or why the armed illegal invaders came over or why they started shooting. What matters is we need to secure our borders....period!

So we legalize drugs and drug smuggling drops off to nil...so what, we still have to secure the borders. With the attention no longer on the border due to the legalization, BP funding would go down and it might get easier for other nasty folks to come over...not that it's hard now.

Point is, the why's of the illegals (criminal ones..beyond just their status) doesn't matter, we need a secure border. The why's of the migrant workers who do not cross to commit criminal acts should be considered and addressed...but not at the expense of security either. Or at the expense of the American taxpayer...FYI they can now qualify for Social Security...and their extended families...and receive payment anywhere in the world. Nice.

Mannlicher
June 17, 2006, 10:08 AM
GTSteve03Quote:
From Mexico? Bull.

It's a form of misinformation perpetuated by the DEA to make it seem like they collected more drugs than they really did. Helps them pad their budgets for all the nice tacti-cool SWAT gear.

No dealer in his right mind buys bulk marijuana at street-level prices, and the distributors know this. The middlemen all buy/sell at wholesale prices and only a small amount actually gets sold at the highest price.

its common practice to state the value of a drug bust based on street price, NOT on 'wholesale' price.

and Oleg, I think you are way out of line with your post.

Lurikeen pew pew
June 17, 2006, 10:08 AM
We need a border fence with auto-laser turrets and missles.

o ya and legalize it already. :D

Destructo6
June 17, 2006, 11:52 AM
BP guys probably have a hard time switching out of police mode.
It's not hard at all, especially when dealing with a "drive through." Many of the BP agents go out to the field with an M4 or shotgun (when M4s run out).

Every country has a right to determine who and what enters. Otherwise, is it sovereign? So, when anyone for any reason enters the US at a place other than a lawful port of entry, it is entirely reasonable to give them a very close look.
I don't think they were shooting to protect the measley 700lbs of pot so much as they were breaking contact. Lay down fire to temporarily fix/suppress the enemy (BP agents) and do your best 800m sprint across the border.
No, they were protecting it.

meef
June 17, 2006, 12:12 PM
Oleg Volk stated:So we cheer at an attempted murder by border patrol agents over what, dry grass which people want to buy of their own free will? PArdon me if I am not impressed...I don't consider revenuers or DEA to be anything but the modern Inqusitiors, as murderous and disingenuous as their historic predecessors.
:confused:

Whoa...?

That was an interesting interpretation.

"The FBI says more than four people began shooting at Border Patrol agents Wednesday night. They came under fire when they saw a Mercedes SUV coming into the country. This is an area heavily traveled by drug smugglers."

Returning fire, AKA self defense, is seen as attempted murder? That sounds like a rogue prosecutor talking. If some LEO at THR recounted a situation where he/she came under fire by four gangbangers and returned fire, anybody putting them down for it would face censure or threadlock - rightfully so.

Also, I wasn't aware that the Border Patrol acted in the same capacity as "revenuers or DEA" (whom I agree are generally despicable).

Has someone hacked Oleg's account?

:scrutiny:

Oleg Volk
June 17, 2006, 12:31 PM
I think I was out of line and did not read the facts quite as clearly as I should have. Returning fire after being shot at first is quite another matter.

hoji
June 17, 2006, 01:23 PM
True but the fact is you can buy tobacco, which kills more people anually than every illegal drug combined has ever killed.
Legalize, and the BP would not have come under fire at all.

tincat2
June 17, 2006, 02:12 PM
with the way it went down-it's the rules of the game. i am somewhat surprised that the ba guys won since i'm always reading how le is outgunned and outmanned by the badguys. i agree that the shooting probably started as a cover for a tactical withdrawl and may not have been intended to be lethal since anybody with a brain would figure wounding or killing a ba would bring on the a-130. but then, maybe these guys weren't too bright since they lost a mercedes suv in the engagement and it was probably the thing the badguys had the most money in.

Sindawe
June 17, 2006, 02:16 PM
It doesn't matter what or why the armed illegal invaders came over or why they started shooting.I must risk to differ. In order to truly solve a problem, we must fully understand that problem including its root causes. Dealing with those shooting at your then leaving it at that when they leave is akin to pouring motor honey in a noisy, smoky IC engine and not addressing why the engine is noisy and smoking. You will eventually come to grief with that mode of behavior.

The issue is armed invaders on the nation's sovereign territory, taking shots at our servants and employees. The root cause here is that the invaders want to sell some squashed dried up plants to us conflicted Americans who wish to purchase that squashed dried up plant. What we want is to not have the invaders on our territory. The rational response is to remove the motivation of THESE invaders, freeing resources to focus on other invaders who's motivations are not so benign as simple commercial prosperity. We could treat private cultivation and trade of that plant as we do home brewing beer, wine or mead while still banning and penalizing large scale production and trade for profit.

So far we as a nation have been unwilling to take that approach, so the next logical course of action would be to make it more difficult to cross our borders. An approach I heartily endorse to the point of taking measures that the moderators here have frowned apon. Apparently we as a nation are also unwilling to take even conservative steps toward that approach either. :banghead:

Byron Quick
June 17, 2006, 06:46 PM
I'm constantly amazed when I see the "street price" of the amount of drugs busted in all of these raids.

Don't be. It's inflated by the police as a public relations method. It's true that the further from the border, the more it can be sold for...all else being equal. However, the prime factor in price is quality. Next is the amount sold at one time and the distance the smuggler transported it from the border.

Selling it a pound at a time in North Dakota, you couldn't raise a half million from 700 pounds of Mexican.

Now the prices given in busts is nowhere near as inflated as it once was. The police once gave value figures for ton lots of marijuana and cocaine that would only be obtainable by selling the ton of cocaine or marijuana by the line or by the joint. I think they finally realized the practice was making them the butt of jokes before they stopped doing it.

Crosshair
June 18, 2006, 12:46 AM
Selling it a pound at a time in North Dakota, you couldn't raise a half million from 700 pounds of Mexican.
Good luck finding anyone who would knowingly buy Mexican pot up here. Much better quality stuff is available.

/WOD is an expencive joke and everyone knows it.

Destructo6
June 19, 2006, 12:05 PM
Legalize, and the BP would not have come under fire at all.
Not at all true. These people earn a living smuggling things. If you legalize pot, they'll smuggle something else. Untaxed pot, criminal aliens, terrorists, it makes little difference to them: it's a way of life.

offthepaper
June 19, 2006, 01:33 PM
from Destructo6:
"Not at all true. These people earn a living smuggling things. If you legalize pot, they'll smuggle something else. Untaxed pot, criminal aliens, terrorists, it makes little difference to them: it's a way of life."
---------------
Correct, only the "tranfer fee" is important.
The "cargo" has little to do with it. The only "cargo" consideration is it's size and portability.

ApexinM3
June 19, 2006, 02:15 PM
AC130...yeah, that should do the trick. Flies nice & high, is visible from the ground as a nice deterent, and pack one heck of a punch.

A10s are getting retired as well, perhaps the BP could purchase a few. 30mm depleted uranium bullets, anyone?:evil:

ArmedBear
June 19, 2006, 02:18 PM
I have no idea why we fight the famous War on Drugs harder than we fight to defend our own nation.

Ditto.

The pot isn't worth a lot south of the border. As it gets further north, it gains value.

The farther away from the border you get, the less educated the consumer is, apparently.:p

Same as all the other crap they sell in TJ. It seems quaint and artsy when they sell it in Monterey.:rolleyes:

Zero_DgZ
June 19, 2006, 02:34 PM
It would be apropos to deploy one of these bad boys to the scene.

Agreed. Spooky understands...

wally
June 19, 2006, 02:39 PM
True but the fact is you can buy tobacco, which kills more people anually than every illegal drug combined has ever killed.
Legalize, and the BP would not have come under fire at all.

This assumes that bringing in 700 lbs of pot was the reason for the entry. Perhaps gaining entry for one of the folks apparently crossing in a $50,000+ vehicle was the real reason, and the shooting was to avoid capture of a high value operative. Call me paranoid but the pot was probably a cover for the real smuggling that was interrupted. Around here, gun battles do not erupt over even semi-truck loads of pot being intercepted.

--wally.

EDIT: Why is this thread concentrating on the pot?

The FBI says more than four people began shooting at Border Patrol agents Wednesday night.

They came under fire when they saw a Mercedes SUV coming into the country.

Desertdog
June 19, 2006, 02:55 PM
EDIT: Why is this thread concentrating on the pot?
Good question. It was started because of the shooting by the BG and not the pot.

ArmedBear
June 19, 2006, 03:05 PM
Good question. It was started because of the shooting by the BG and not the pot.

General statement about journalism:

Shootings are not interesting news. Motives for shootings are.

DMF
June 20, 2006, 04:16 AM
Quote:
more than 700 pounds of marijuana valued at over half a million dollars

From Mexico? Bull.Not bull at all. Depending on the THC content of the dope, ie "how good it is" according to the idiots who smoke it, and where it's being sold, the price of MJ in bulk can vary from a couple hundred dollars a pound, to as much as several thousands of dollars per pound. To get above the $500,000 mark that MJ would only need to be good enough to fetch $714/pound. Seeing as how some high potency MJ can get as much as a few thousand dollars per pound, the $500,000 estimate may not be unrealistic at all, and could be quite conservative.

If they were using "street values" it's possible the numbers could have been much higher. Depending on location, some high potency MJ was selling for as much as $800 an OUNCE a couple years ago. That would be a "street value" of $12,800 per pound. Granted that is the extreme, but if they were looking to exaggerate the value they could have used those kind of numbers and valued the load at $8.9 Million.

Without knowing the quality of the THC it's really impossible to say how accurate the $500K estimate is.

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