Initially believing the thud she suddenly heard during the early morning hours on September 8th to be a monsoon storm the mother of three went back to sleep. Yet later that morning she discovered a bulky bundle wrapped in black plastic had crashed through the family carport, destroying the family dog home.
Inside the bundle was 26 pounds of marijuana, a package authorities believe to be worth $10 000 ‘accidentally’ dropped by a drug smuggler aircraft.
Donnelly told Nogales International: ‘It’s all right on top of our dog’s house. It just made a perfectly round hole through our carport.’
The family’s German shepherd, Hulk, was not in his plastic pet crate at the time. ‘Thank goodness he is a wanderer at night and was not in his house,’ Maya said. ‘He was probably at the gate watching the plane go by.’
Calling police (would you?), authorities confirmed the mystery package was indeed marijuana. They told Donnelly an ultralight aircraft smuggling marijuana from Mexico had probably let part of its load go early by mistake – before dropping the rest farther north.
Nogales Police Chief Derek Arnson said it was the first time in his three-year tenure that he had seen a package of drugs hit a building.
‘Someone definitely made a mistake – and who knows what the outcome of that mistake might be for them,’ he added.
The find has led to cops wondering whether the bundle was transported by an aircraft or a pilotless drone. Such runs usually occur at night.
According to the police report, the bundle ‘had a plastic bracket, taped with black electrical tape’, which had possibly been used to affix the load to an aircraft.
Offered the police chief: ‘Ultralights, we’ve seen those on occasion. They’ll take a couple, two, three bundles. You can hear those kind of buzzing. They come at nighttime and they don’t land, they just drop and go back to Mexico.’
Maya Donnelly thinks it’s unlikely someone will come looking for the drugs, as they are now in police custody. Arnson agreed – but police have boosted patrols in the Donnellys’ neighborhood just in case.
The family will have to pay the estimated $500 in roof repairs, as well as pay for a new home for their German Shepherd, Hulk.
But the incident could have been much worse for the couple and their three teenage daughters.
‘Where it landed was clear on the other side of the house from the bedrooms,’ Maya Donnelly said. ‘We were lucky in that sense.’
She said friends had joked to the family that they could have illegally sold the drugs on.
‘That’s what everybody says: ‘Why did you call 911?” Maya Donnelly said. ‘But how can you have a clear conscience, right? We could have made lots of home repairs with that.’