The Mexican military and American Customs and Border Protection both made large busts in recent days, seizing cocaine, fentanyl and meth headed for the U.S.
Members of the Mexican military were forced into a shootout with a suspected drug trafficker Saturday after tracking a suspicious plane that flew through Mexican airspace and landed close to the town of Tamazula, according to a report from Mexico News Daily.
According to a statement from the Mexican Ministry of National Defense, the country’s air surveillance system detected the suspicious plane and sent three air force planes to track its movement. When the plane landed, three military helicopters carrying Mexican army and air force personnel landed at the location and immediately began taking gunfire.
Mexican troops returned fire on the suspect and “an aggressor” was wounded, the ministry said in the statement. The suspect was given first aid at the scene and then transported to a local hospital. When Mexican forces searched the plane they found 30 packages weighing over 300 kilograms of what was likely cocaine, after which the military turned the investigation over to law enforcement authorities.
“These activities were carried out in accordance with the rule of law and with respect for human rights, thus preventing these kinds of addictive substances from affecting the health and development of Mexican youth,” the ministry said.
The cocaine was likely destined for the U.S., according to the report.
The dramatic bust came during the same period officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection were able to intercept a large shipment of drugs at the Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona. Port director Michael W. Humphries tweeted Monday that, in five seizures over the previous four days, the agency seized over 3 million fentanyl pills, 19.5 pounds of fentanyl powder, 251 pounds of methamphetamine, 47 pounds of cocaine, and 2.6 pounds of heroin.
Smugglers attempted to conceal some drugs in commercial shipments of tortillas, according to CBP, a common tactic when trying to cross the U.S. border.
“This massive amount of dangerous narcotics will not reach the streets,” Humphries said in the post. “Excellent work by Team Nogales!”