U.S. Border Patrol agents have some of the most advanced security technology money can buy at their disposal, including radar-assisted cameras, underground motion sensors and drones.
But sometimes they are thwarted by Mexican drug runners with a just few dollars worth of shaggy rug scraps and Velcro strapped to their feet.
In a simple but ingenious trick, cartel members wear homemade “carpet shoes” over their boots as they trek through the desert trails on the U.S. side of the border. The soft rug soles leave no recognizable footprints, so Border Patrol agents can’t tell what direction drug runners are traveling or how many there are.
Arizona rancher Jim Chilton knows the tactic well: He has collected dozens of pairs of carpet shoes discarded by the cartel members as they pass through his property on their way back to Mexico. Chilton showed his collection to Daily Caller News Foundation reporters, who are in Arizona to document life and crime in the southwest borderlands.
“They’re professionals, you know,” Chilton said of the drug runners. “It’s their job — come in, drop loads, go back. They know this country better than anybody else. And with the Sinaloa cartel scouts on the mountains, they have complete control of my ranch and other ranches along the border.”
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