Patrolling ‘smugglers’ alley’ by air along the Rio Grande (video).

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While flying an afternoon patrol along the twists and turns of the Rio Grande, Lt. Johnny Prince, a veteran pilot for the Texas Department of Public Safety, spotted something suspicious: “Look here, we got a raft, a raft right here.”

Below him, in the middle of the river which separates Mexico from the United States was a group of men frantically paddling back to the southern riverbank, their attempt to reach the American side thwarted by the helicopter patrol.

Prince said he suspected the men were a team of drug cartel scouts who were planning to search the U.S. side of the river to make sure there were no law enforcement officers nearby. If they determined the area was clear, he explained, they would then signal others to sneak a load of narcotics across the river in a raft.

Source: Mark Potter for MSNBC.

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