Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aluminum foil used to smuggle drugs

Arizona Daily Star
September 29, 2009
By Matilde Cantero

Tennis-ball-sized aluminum spheres tossed over the border fence into Nogales, Ariz., Sunday may be the latest method for delivering contraband into the U.S. from Mexico, said border officials.

One of the spheres recovered by agents consisted of a wadded-up ball of aluminum foil wrapped around a plastic bag containing hundreds of prescription pills, officials said.

Camera operators for the Department of Homeland Security watched as the round items flew over the fence and landed near apartments in the downtown area on East Street. About five of the silver balls were seen on tape as they came flying over the border, said Agent George Alex Gomez, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol.

The camera operators also watched as an individual retrieved some of the objects shortly after they landed on the ground and went back into an apartment.

When agents reached the location, they seized one of the plastic bags containing 349 Valium pills wrapped in aluminum.

"We wonder what was in the other bags; it could have been heroin or cocaine," said Gomez. "We have to be more alert out here."

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