Ultralight buzzes over border; $500K in smuggled drugs seized

Ultralight buzzes over border; $500K in smuggled drugs seized

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents tracked a modified ultralight airplane to an improvised runway southeast of Tucson, and seized nearly $500,000 in methamphetamine and fentanyl Thursday night, authorities said. 

Agents with Air and Marine Operations, a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, detected the ultralight craft entering the U.S. around 11 p.m., said a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector.

The agents tracked the aircraft using “surveillance equipment” and sent Border Patrol agents to an improvised landing site south of Tucson. 

The pilot had abandoned the aircraft, but the agents found strapped to the airplane two large plastic storage containers. Agents with drug dogs checked the ultralight and opened the boxes, discovering “numerous methamphetamine packages inside the containers,” the spokesman said. 

The containers held 143 pounds of methamphetamine and around 200 grams of fentanyl, he said. 

A helicopter crew and agents made an “exhaustive search of the area, but did not find the presumed pilot,” he said. 

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