Think of it as an air cannon on steroids. A compressor fills a pressure tank at one end of a long tubular barrel. The sleeping bag sized bundle of dope, heavily taped and protected for landing, can then be shot over any obstacle. There isn’t a border wall this side of China that would stop it.
And it is mobile. The air cannon, similar to the DIY pumpkin-chuckers found on YouTube every fall, is housed inside a van. So long as there’s a scheduled pickup on the other end, it is an efficient means of delivery.
And the tech can be scaled. Small potato-gun sized launchers are easy to move and hide. This large cannon was reasonably well hidden in the van. It wouldn’t pass any inspection at a checkpoint, but that isn’t always a problem when it stays on one side of the border.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that this one was seized in Mexico last week. Along with the launcher, there 1,800 pounds of marijuana. It was designed to fire through the van’s sun roof into the desert around Douglas, Arizona. The wall is see-through there, allowing for easy collaboration for smuggling efforts.
This find helps to explain some previous sightings of objects caught flying over the border.
— Noticieros Televisa (@NTelevisa_com) November 14, 2017
“This is the second drug-smuggling bazooka police have found in Mexico. Authorities found a similar weed cannon—also built inside a van—in the same town of Agua Prieta in 2016,” Vice reports.
The next question is who is on the other side. Firing that much dope across the border is far riskier than other types of of smaller delivery methods, like smuggling or drones, but one good launch moves a lot of product.