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39 pounds of shit covered marijuana found in sewer
March 14, 2011, 10:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

NOGALES INTERNATIONAL: Nogales public works employees found two bales of marijuana clogging up a sewer line Wednesday, and hauled the pot out of a manhole on Hudgins Street, about 30 feet from Morley Avenue, police said.

The bales, totaling 39 pounds of wet, feces-covered pot, were tied with about 900 feet of rope and found in a line that feeds into the International Outflow Interceptor (IOI) from the Heroes neighborhood in Nogales, Sonora. A search of the Rio Rico sewer plant, where the IOI ends, didn’t turn up any more drugs, an NPD spokesman said.

It’s not the first time weed has been found in the sewer system in Nogales – in 2009, several bails were found clogging the IOI, said city public works employees. In February 2010, near Douglas, Border Patrol found 55 pounds of marijuana, along with a scuba tank and mask, in the storm drains that run across the border, said Border Patrol spokeswoman Colleen Agle.

Extreme methods of smuggling like these aren’t unheard of, but they’re not common either, said Agle, who estimated the 39 pounds of pot to have a street-value of more than $20,000.

“All of the efforts we have going along the border are changing the way smugglers are doing business,” Agle said. “They can’t operate the way they used to so that’s why they’re looking for these different avenues… They want to exploit this very innocent, very legitimate infrastructure to get their drugs through.”

Gravity at work

Nogales City Engineer Juan Guerra said the pipe, which is about 16 inches in diameter, runs from a main point in Sonora and carries sewage downhill into Arizona. Ostensibly, smugglers need just to drop the pot down a manhole on the south side and catch it when it comes across – which would explain the rope tied to the bales, he said.

“It would be very difficult to stop this type of transport because we would have to monitor a very big sewer system,” he said.

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