Drug Smugglers Flying High on Ultralights

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Drug laws are stupid. You can't stop people from using drugs, or smuggling them into the country. And now, in addition to overground, underground, and aquatic crossings, smugglers are flying ultralights to ferry pot over the U.S.-Mexico border.

The L.A. Times reports that as the U.S. has had some measure of success stopping overland smuggling, drug cartels have turned to ultralights to get product in. The craft are relatively inexpensive and easy to pilot compared to conventional aircraft. Smugglers fly them in the dark, using night vision goggles. With black painted wings, and the ability to fly low-to-the ground, the quick little craft are able to evade detection by peering eyes and radar alike. In the past year, the Times reports the number of incursions have almost doubled, up to 228 (which, in fairness, seems like a pretty low number). On the down side, they aren't capable of carrying very much pot, maxing out between 150 and 250 pounds. So, you know, just enough for a week or so. Or a really good party.


Photo by Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times