Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bill targets ultralight drug smuggling

Border Patrol agents seized more than 240 pounds of marijuana dropped from an ultralight aircraft on August 2, 1011. (Photo courtesy US Border Patrol)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall is co-sponsoring a bill to crack down on smugglers who are increasingly using ultralight aircraft to bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.

The legislation would close a loophole in current law that gives smugglers who use ultralights lesser penalties than those who use airplanes or cars. Border authorities say Mexican organized crime groups are increasingly using the aircraft to drop marijuana bundles in agricultural fields and desert scrub across the U.S. border.
Udall, a Democrat, introduced the legislation with Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

The legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House last year after being introduced by Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

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