Fences along the U.S.- Mexico border have not prevented drug smugglers from attempting to get into the country; two men attempted to drive their truck over the 14-foot barriers.
Authorities discovered a silver Jeep Cherokee teetering atop the fence near Yuma, Arizona just after midnight Tuesday. Smugglers attempted to drive the Jeep over the fence by proping an iron ramp on each side; however, the truck got stuck at the peak and was eventually abandoned.
Agents report that two suspects on the Mexico side were attempting to get the Jeep free when they approached. The suspects were able to escape further into the country.
The Jeep was empty by the time it was inspected. The U.S. Border Patrol suspects that the men may have taken with them, contraband they were attempting to smuggle into the country, but remain uncertain as to the contents of the vehicle.
“The back of the vehicle was opened, so it appears that they took all that out before the agents arrived,” U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Spencer Tippets told the Yuma Sun.
He adds that the plan’s foil and seizure of the Jeep is a testament to the effectiveness of the fence and other prohibitory measures set up at the border.
The Yuma Sun notes a similar incident that occurred in April 2011; authorities confiscated $500,000 worth of marijuana from smugglers who successfully maneuvered a vehicle over the fence with a portable ramp, near the southern-most end of Foothills Boulevard.
“When smuggling organizations make an attempt like this, it helps us to realize how successful we really are here in the Yuma Sector. Before they didn't have to use drastic measures. But now that the border has essentially been shut down in this area, they are left with only drastic measures — things that they wouldn't normally ever even consider,” Tippets said.