- The package landed in an empty dog crate
- Police suspect it was mistakenly dropped by an ultralight
Nogales police said it was possible the marijuana was dropped by an ultralight aircraft because drug bundles are known to have been dropped by small aircraft. But police suspect pilot error may be to blame because usually the bundles, when discovered by police, are dropped on the city outskirts or in the desert.
"Normally they don't land on houses," Detective Robert Ferros told CNN.
The 28-pound bundle, packaged in brown and black tape, "was actually kind of light" compared with previous drug drops intercepted by police, Ferros said.
"We have seen bundles of marijuana being carried by ultralight aircraft weighing several hundred or a thousand pounds," he said.
Last year, he said, police followed an ultralight that dropped several hundred pounds of marijuana in an iron rod basket containing eight tightly wrapped bundles.
Smugglers also sometimes use catapults to launch drug packages over the border from Mexico, he said.
Nogales sits on the U.S. border, and the house where the drugs crashed into the carport is about 1,000 feet from Mexico.
The homeowners told police they heard a loud noise just after midnight September 8 but thought it was thunder. The dogs barked a lot, but the family didn't check on it.
They found the contraband the next morning, upright in the middle of the plastic dog crate, right below a hole in the carport roof.
Police said the marijuana has a street value of about $10,000.