While we are thrilled with night vision goggles, ground sensors, radar, hidden cameras and other hi-tech gizmos to nab illegal border activity, we can’t forget the less complicated stuff.

Border Patrol marijuana seizure from good old-fashioned tracking/submitted photo

Like simple tracks in the sand.

Such seemingly banal – or forgotten – prints across desert terrain led U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Ajo Station to not one but two major marijuana seizures, according to a news release from the Department of Homeland Security.

The first went down Sept. 11 when agents from the all-terrain vehicle unit were tracking “foot signs” of a group of suspected illegal aliens about 20 miles west of Lukeville. While the agents were not able to nab the backpackers themselves, the did run across 84 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 1,730 pounds and worth an “estimated value” of $1.3 million.

Agents patrolling south of State Route 86 found a similar stash after following fresh tire tracks on the morning of Sept. 13. They followed the tracks about 50 yards to find an abandoned SUV stuffed with 100 bundles of marijuana. This haul weighed in at more than 1,780 pounds and has an “estimated value” of $1.4 million. Again, no suspects were found, but at least the stash was seized.

Both loads of marijuana went directly to the Ajo Station for processing and will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, to Aug. 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol has seized more than 940,000 pounds of pot worth more than $752 million, the release said. It did not note how many busts were due to good old-fashioned methods.

While we much enjoy some modern conveniences, and cannot even imagine typing on those clickety-clack typewriters rather than automatically spell-checked computers, we very much dig when the simple things beat out the fancy schmancy. We also dig the days before cell phones.


What do you think?

What other situations are benefited from going back to basics?

Do you have faith in other old-fashioned methods or are you a hi-tech person only?

Are you scared of computers?