The Five Best Failed Drug-Smugging Attempts in 2017

Brought to you by zip line.
Brought to you by zip line. CBP
Living near the U.S.-Mexico border, it's easy to get jaded by drug busts. A woman got caught with over $120,000 worth of meth in her SUV? Normal Tuesday. 

Once in a while, though, we get a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that makes us stop and appreciate the sheer ingenuity of the drug smugglers who call this region home.

Here's five of their most creative attempts from this past year. Sure, all of these failed, but you've got to admire the effort.

1. The Cross-Border Zip Line
In November, CBP agents announced that they'd arrested an 18-year-old Douglas resident who allegedly was involved in "a cross-border zip line smuggling attempt." Unfortunately, they didn't include a picture, or many details. All we know is that one end of the zip line was attached to a tall building in Agua Prieta, and that it appears to have been used to transport more than 240 pounds of marijuana across the border, which sounds insanely fun.

2. The Border Fence Catapult
While patrolling the area east of Douglas in February, Border Patrol agents found an interesting-looking contraption attached to the south side of the border fence. It turned out to be a catapult that had been used to hurl bundles of marijuana into the United States. The discovery quickly became national news — unsurprisingly, since it pokes a hole in President Donald Trump's claim that building a border wall will put a stop to the drug trade.

3. The Meth-Filled Toy Dog
In October, the driver of a Dodge Charger got selected for secondary screening at the immigration checkpoint near the Arizona-California border. A drug-sniffing dog had picked up on the distinctive odor of crystal meth, two pounds of which was hidden inside a toy dog. Stuffed animals: They're not just for kids!

4. The Mexican Tour Bus
Group bus tours are usually incredibly boring. But in September, Border Patrol agents found a secret compartment filled with almost 320 pounds of pot when they stopped a tour bus at an immigration checkpoint near Tombstone. The two drivers were both arrested. Meanwhile, the passengers, all of whom were tourists from Mexico, had their vacation rudely interrupted: According to CBP, they were "driven to a nearby business to await alternative transportation" after the bus was seized.

5. The Boatload of Pot
Since the Lukeville Port of Entry is where most people cross the border on their way back from Rocky Point, towing a boat behind your truck doesn't necessarily warrant a second look. Unfortunately for a 31-year-old Phoenix woman who was busted in February, though, drug-sniffing dogs picked up on the fact that her boat happened to contain nearly 360 pounds of marijuana.
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Antonia Noori Farzan is a staff writer at New Times and an honors graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Arizona, she worked for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.