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Cartels use old school, high tech ways to move drugs

PHOENIX -- By air, land and sea, a former Border Patrol commander said the Mexican drug cartels are using old school and high-tech methods to get their product into the United States.

Ron Colburn said the cartels use catapults to launch drugs into Arizona in addition to dropping pot from ultralight aircraft. And the underground routes continue to be popular as tunnels are being located more often.

"One of these days the entire city of Nogales is going to drop fifty feet because of so many tunnels beneath it."

And it's not just below ground activity, it's underwater too. The cartels are using submarines to move their product.

"They run these small motherlode subs out to sea to meet up with fishing boats and other watercraft off the coast of Southern California."

With the billions of dollars they have stashed, Colburn said the cartels can buy whatever they need to keep their drug trade going.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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