Home » Weapons » Armor » Another Narco Tank Seized in Mexico

Another Narco Tank Seized in Mexico

by John Reed on May 31, 2011


In addition to full-on submarines, it looks like the drug cartels are making another piece of heavy military hardware a standard part of their arsenals. Mexican authorities have seized another truck modified by drug traffickers to resemble an infantry fighting vehicle.

This latest find is based on a Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup and features a pop-up battering ram, a rotating gun turret and steel armor complete with numerous firing ports for use by the people inside. Apparently, the cops found the “narcotank” abandoned on a rural road after a gunfight between rival cartels members in the town of Mezquitic. This is the second “drug tank” captured by Mexican authorities in less than two months.  So, it appears that the “Federales” and other authorities throughout the region (including the United States) are engaged in a mini arms race with the traffickers (although, from the reports, it sounds like this vehicle was being used against other cartels not the police). We’re already using Cold War technology developed to hunt the pinnacle of Soviet submarine tech to find the newest generation of narco-subs. What’s next? Will we see Mexican police regularly carrying antitank weapons in their patrol vehicles?

Image via PickupTrucks​.com

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayson May 31, 2011 at 10:51 am

The cartels source their weapons from the US, the border patrol are aware of the gun running and the big heads tell the border patrol to let them go so they can see where the guns are going for over 2 years now.

This gun selling has got to stop. I have a view there is no need for automatic (AK047 etc) and handguns have no place for the public. Tasers and long guns should all be available for civilians. I'm apologize, this isn't the forum for this.

Isreal have a good idea, put up a concrete wall will help solidify the border and way cheaper I bet.


meatpopsicle May 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Yes nearly 2000 miles of 20 foot tall concrete fence is what we need….(SARCASM)

Our gun laws are not the problem here….

The problem here is the United States is a country of drug users, yet we'll never admit to this and therefore we wage a war against drugs in order to absolve ourselves of our sins.

The cartels have an incredible amount of power mostly because of the incredible amounts of money that they making due to artificially raised prices due to the fact that the products they push are illegal.

The pictured vehicle looks like a piece of junk and although it would be effective against local police it would not last a minute against any modern or out dated piece of military equipment. The junkyard tank is not a reason to cry for military action on our part

Also Mexico would never allow the presence of US troops on their soil….. Mexican American war of 1846 anyone?

Point is that Mexico is fubar and there is nothing we can really do but watch. Although CIA drone operations might not be out of the question……


Clu June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

The cartels do not source their weapons from the U.S. – well, at least not most of them. All one need do is look farther south than Mexico to see that there are countires who have no problems with selling AK47s to teenagers. Easier to get guns from willing sellers than have to steal them from the U.S. then smuggle them back across the border.

But think about the irony of your second statement. Imagine if the *people* of Mexico had the means to defend themselves. More bloodshed perhaps, but I'd rather not be killed for lack of shooting back. Imagine if the populace banded together to combat the violence of their own towns. Mexico is a shining example of what happens when you rely on someone else to protect you. Your protection is a personal responsibility. Police do not prevent crime, they investigate it after the fact. If you don't believe this, then show me a police form that doesn't have a space for the victims name at the top.


shellback99 March 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens is no solution.Guns are not the problem. People are the problem.


Steve May 31, 2011 at 11:20 am

It's time for us to realize that the situation in Mexico, our border, and the southwest USA is a war. We can't simply seal the border and then hope that it stays out, it's already here. Time to put some real effort into attacking these cartels at the source, no more policing and walling off, time to go into full scale operations against them. It's destroying the southwest of our country, and soon Mexico will be lost. We owe this to ourselves, our children, our neighbor, and the world. Time to destroy these enemies of freedom.


@Algorithm_Guy June 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

You do realize that we can eliminate the entire problem with no military action by simply legalizing all drugs, right?


iknow July 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Only theoretically. The US government is the chief drug trafficker via operations run by the CIA and the military. It's a major source of super income for big cats in the bureaucracy. It also enables the Prison Industrial Complex to charge the federal government over $1000 per inmate per day. The money generated more than covers the costs of political campaign contributions, lobbyists on Capitol Hill, the country's largest law firms, propaganda on syndicated news networks, and a secret army of professional assassins who take care of suspected moles and whistleblowers.


NoOne July 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Dream of it


Ken May 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

The makers of this vehicle must have watched alot of The A-team reruns. I can just picture BA at the wheel of this thing!


A Team June 1, 2011 at 11:58 am

Now that's Funny


kim May 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Big deal that truck. The Danish resistance movement used one of those in 1945. Was a Ford too, by the way: http://www.din-bog.dk/asserbo/


Dave May 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Looks like a "ghetto-Mobile"!


Taxandrian May 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Like Lawrence of Arabia's Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts… oh no, they were *much* prettier.

Still, these narcomobiles are NOT made from hardened steel. A 7.62 will penetrate it, especially with a steel core. And the round would ricochet inside, iike old M3 infantry vehicles. Bad idea.

Minimum requirement for these guys is IMHO a PzKpfw II.

No AT weapons needed. Give a Federales patrol a mix of M14s, M16s and sabot 12gauge rounds. More than enough.

Still, would be nice to see a small Mexican lugging a Lahti gun around.


Taxandrian May 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm
Steve B. May 31, 2011 at 8:40 pm

It's obvious that there's a whole bunch of Ford dealers in AZ,NM, TX and CA selling these trucks to drug dealers so they can be specially modified as tanks.

Perhaps ATF agents could run a sting operation with DoT in support.


Stephen Russell May 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Saw video on Fox News about the US govt supplying arms to Mexico.
IE seized arms show grenades, RPGs etc that " gun stores" dont carry in the US.
Thus the DIY armor trucks in Mexico.


Stephen Russell May 31, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Be a great TV or movie prop alone, For The Expendables 3 movie???


roguetechie June 1, 2011 at 1:19 am

To those that are still trotting out the tired line about american guns from the civilian market being sold to the narco warriors…. Get a clue Do some research…. and maybe pop something into google before you believe the crap people spew in election years!!

FACT: Cartels want FULLY automatic weapons they care less about semi auto variants which are what is for sale on the civilian market here!

Maybe you should learn something about guns before posting about them


xpoqx June 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Lolz, I picked that article up off CNN and sent here… Seems the boys down south don't like being shot at…. as much of an upgrade this is off that dumb as hell dump-truck… I still don't think it we be any match for the M2 or MK.19s mounted on the Mexican Army's HMMWVs… 12.7mm and 40mm will chew that thing up, better yet leave it to the dismounted dudes with AT-4s and LAWS


ALBERT C. BOWKER June 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm

NOW THAT'S A HOOPDy, who did the work "Pimp My Ride" Can I see the Car Fax please ?


andy May 15, 2012 at 5:40 am

don't approve of its purpose but it certainly looks cool. The scary thing is they are building stealthy narco subs, what happens if they start building stealthy narco planes?


anthony December 5, 2013 at 7:10 am

Soon we can just internet to afgan..Why do or did ,and still let the afgans grow the stuff why not destroy all popies?Look at the 17 clinnics we built for just that purpose to help there youth to stay of it ? Is it so that if we destroyed the crops crime might increase in all cities?Sorry but on this subject we let them win?Or is it the same stuff like vietnam ca. awhile back in ca ,,smuggling it?Of course the cia or so asked for a few tons to drop in a city again ,Good By Saigon…


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STemplar May 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Links please to back those statements, because crime rates in this nation are plummeting to historic low levels and have been for years now. Even though the population continues to expand and despite the fact we are in an economic turn down at the moment. With the homicide net numbers essentially half of what they were in the 80s despite there are 60 million plus more people in the US I'd like to hear what success in the war on drugs in your view is.

The cartels second biggest source of income is human smuggling and that isn't goign anywhere. I doubt very much anyone would ever agree to legalization of heroin, coke, or meth, all of which they smuggle in huge numbers, so I don't think it would have much impact on their bottom line to just legalize marijuana like some assert.

This fallacy the reason the situation in Mexico is so bad is because American buy drugs in perpetuated by the corrupt ruling elite in Mexico. The biggest reason for the cartels existence is because the majority of Mexico is third world poor despite the fact that Mexico has the second ighest number of per capita billionaires in the world. The rich ruling minority in that country has led that nation to its current state and they like it right where it is because its made them rich. Mexico is a toilet because Mexico's leadership doesn't do anything to change the socio economic realities in that country.


brian May 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I think the issue with this line of though primarily is that narcotics are an involuntary product purchase. What I mean is that once you have consumed them, they have cause physical addiction. Withdrawal from them is painful and adverse, and a good deal of people won't be able to govern themselves rationally because of the deleterious effects. Imagine now if we were to decriminalize the production and distribution of narcotics, companies would be free to add addictive elements to their products, or spend billions to develop even more addictive drugs. Talk about a revenue stream that would be!

If you get around to it, the issue of narcotics is the issue of slavery, as the chains coercions and the whip of compliance are more difficult to see with narcotics since they are "meta physical" doesn't mean they don't exist. If narcotics had existed back in ante bellum south they certainly would have used that over chains and whips as they break the person internally.

The war against drugs is the new war against slavery.


Andrew May 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Because if you remove the income source that is drugs, all these cartels will just lay down their arms and stop killing people. No, see, what would really happen is that they would get even more violent and brutal to gain/keep control of what high-profit illegal trade still exists, such as human trafficking. If drugs are legalized, the violence won’t stop. Legalization is not a panacea.


mdixonga June 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

… and those who choose to take the drugs, and their families….


Max Entropy June 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

So your saying that even though we have a ton of problems with legalized alcohol in this country, you want to double-down on it and make MORE drugs legal.
I have an idea; stop buying dope, it makes you stupid.


sunshinehours1 June 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Crack and ice are pretty cheap. How many users would drift towards them if they were cheaper. Or if heroin was essentially free?


Brian 2 May 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

You mean like alcohol and cigarettes?


nraddin May 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Why does something that is not illegal automatically have to be a free for all? Couldn't we regulate it like Alcohol or other drugs? Why do you assume that people that don't already take drugs would run out to take drugs if they where legal? If this is a war against slavery, why are non-addictive drugs like Marijuana, LSD, etc also illegal? If we are going to fight 'the new slavery' wouldn't it be better to use proven tactics, like treatment, education and rehab?


brian May 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm

alcohol and cigarettes, though addictive psychologically are not physically addictive, like heroin or cocaine. There is a distinct difference.


brian May 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Ever try to educate a crack head? If not, go try. You'll get the point. LSD and to a lesser extend Marijuana are simply harmful. Extremely harmful. I can simply say from personal experience, highly intelligent family members and friends destroyed their intellect and prospects through the use of drugs they thought they could control. First there IQ took a dive then their self control. Those that took LSD became stupid overnight, becoming baser people.

I know, you think your smart, everyone is smart, blah blah blah just stop taking it, if you get caught in the mess you had it coming blah blah blah, look nothing any good has ever come out of this stuff, it just destroys and mains for a few minutes of pleasure. It should not be legal for a perfectly healthy person to ingest poison for "pleasure" and be "against the man" none sense. If you are thinking of taking these drugs, all you are doing is falling for some crappy anti-establishment advertising put out by multinationals pushing hte rebel lifestyle through bad music and lack of writing talent.


nraddin May 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

So then we should outlaw the use of Alcohol and Tobacco as well. Anything with Caffeine in it. Race cars are right out, think of the harm they do and the danger they cause for those driving them or around them. Everyone should be wearing a helmet as well, think of all the head injuries.

You shouldn't have the right to tell another adult they can't take actual poison if they want to. You nor anyone else should be able to dictate the actions of another unless those actions will directly harm another. Your rights end where the next persons begin. Or maybe Thomas Jefferson was just to anti-establishment for you.

But none of that is even the point. We know that outlawing them and putting addicts in jail doesn't work. Rehab and early education are the only things that help reduce the drug rate. Spending $40 billion a year fighting it has only served to make those we fight rich and well armed. Your rhetoric and hyperbole doesn't change these facts.


nraddin May 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Really, then explain what happened after the repeal of prohibition in the US for Alcohol? Why did the crime rate drop so much then? What makes it different now?

II looks like you are suggesting that because criminals might continue to be criminals, you might be right. But it was once illegal for American's to import tea without a tax stamp from the king, should it still be illegal so those smugglers don't move on to other crimes?


Robert June 1, 2011 at 7:35 am

Alcohol isn't physically addictive!!!!!! Obviously you have never seen someone with the DTs. Alcohol withdrawal is ofter worse than drug withdrawal. Talk to someone who was a heavy smoker, and as them if nicotine is physically addictive. You obviously don't know what you are talking about.


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

Alcohol kills more people every year than all other drugs in the US combined.


brian June 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

go to a methadone climic and see what happens to a heroin addict in withdrawal. Then you will understand the difference.


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

How are they hurt more if drugs are legal than if they are illegal? They will be harder to get (drug dealers don't ask for ID, but the ABC story does), will be of more reliable quality (No worry they are cut with poison), they will be cheaper (So no need to rob from others to get them), and if they get caught with them they don't spend years and years in jail (not good for them, their family or the taxpayer to have someone in jail) but instead get treatment (Which is far more effective at getting people off drugs than jail and costs about 1/10th as much)….. So how does making drugs legal make it worst of the drug addict and their families again?


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

You know that your a statistically more likely to die from your addiction to alcohol than your addiction to Heroin (Let alone softer drugs). That's right on a per capita bases, Alcohol is more deadly. If we are just worried about the number of deaths and medical problems it causes then we would be better off with legal Heroin than legal Alcohol.

Honestly man, you seem like a bright guy. I would suggest that you look some of this stuff up, read the studies about the effects of drugs, look at what the drug war does to indigenous peoples of Central and South America, find out about the health issues related to these drugs, look the money we spend and then ask yourself what is the most ethical and freedom loving thing to do here. If you are a true American, that believes all men are created equal, freedom liberty and justice are paramount you will support the decriminalization of drugs.


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

Your lack of reading comprehension is making this tedious at best. I am sorry that you can't understand basic logic or the facts that are presented to you. Please feel free to continue in ignorance if it makes you feel better. Just to bad you have no desire to fix the issues only tow the party line.


brian June 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

Look its apparent the only thing you are trying to prevent is going to prison for your own illicit drug use. That's it. Your not trying to "solve" crime, drug babies, addiction, etc. Your an incredibly selfish individual who has never actually faced the nasty side of drugs, only the momentary highs.

Well I wish you the best, and I am sure when you finally become a father, you will see drug use in a different light.


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

No I didn't say that at all. I said that prohibition causes violent crime, doesn't reduce the amount of drug addicts, and serves to make cartels rich. I don't want drug addicts, I'm not an idiot, but they are here weather it's illegal or not. Making it illegal doesn't solve the problem, it just creates another one. We are spending $40billion a year to create a problem for ourselves on top of the drug problem we have.


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

You know how I can tell you have a good solid argument. You case libelous and completely off base accusations and assumptions my way but don't actually talk about the problem. Your good at insulting and assuming, but not so great at listening with an open mind. I am sorry that I have obviously made you so angry, but this often happens when someones long held beliefs are challenged with a strong argument. While I am obviously not going to change your mind here, I do ask that you at least try and think about the problem with a open mind later.


brian June 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

All you have done is make up wild lies about the effects of drug use. I have presented documented evidence to back up my claims, while you have done no such thing. I have pointed out that you on one hand advocate education as a means to stop addiction, and then call such an education scare tactics. One can only assume what your true agenda is.

As for libelous attacks, I am speaking to you directly about the duplicity inherit in your own arguments and attacks.
-Making up numbers
-Advocating alternatives then attacking said alternatives
-Crying foul when pinned up against your own BS and refuse to provide evidence for your claims.

Finally everything I have said has been directly to you, none of which you have refuted directly. As such that can be inferred as an admission thereof. open minded, BAH!! Show me the numbers then we'll chat!


nraddin June 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I really don't think you are looking at much of a jump, just for them simple reason that with drugs easy and cheap to get now, those that want to do them do. And even if we do see a jump I think we are talking about less harm overall than the jail time inflicted upon those already dumb enough to get themselves hooked on drugs, not to mention the cost to family, friends, and the taxpayer to lock up drug users ($40billion buys a lot of rehab).

Beyond all that I know that if they legalized drugs tomorrow I wouldn't run out and start taking them, but I don't even drink so I might not be the best example.


Brian June 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Right another Internet lawyer, sheesh.

first, accuse the other side of inpisoning people for no reason
Offer altenatives then mock said alternatives
make up statistics and refuse to back them up. Then Repeat made up statistics
Ignore evidence published and recognized by the government as fact. (and about everyone else)
Accuse the other side of being unfair For asking for your data
Claim your rich and threaten the other side of libel, no matter how absurd your claim would be.

Real good debating skills you have there


Bryan June 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

You are pretty naive. Where is your proof that incarcerated dealers and users "see the light" and never sell or do drugs again? You said that those offenders do not regress after leaving the system. Again, I ask you to prove it. A convict knows nothing more than what they went in with. It is all they know.

Therefore, statistically speaking, an incarcerated dealer is 67% likely to return to his way of life. That was before 2007. Now, it is likely in the 80% category or higher. You aren't a convicted felon, so you have no idea what it is like for a convicted felon to get a job. 90% of the jobs in the U.S. do background checks ranging from 7 to 10 years. Tell me, how do you suppose a drug-convicted felon will get a job fresh out of jail/prison? McDonalds? Construction? Do you suppose that would put money in this persons pocket and pay the bills? I wonder the type and size of the rock you've been living under. A dealer will return to the lifestyle almost immediately out of jail/prison. They need money to survive and employers aren't going to higher them. A user may not relapse for a good long while. But while they were "inside", things changed on the "outside". Stress plays an important factor into the relapse of a user.

Anyone and everyone can debate this topic. The truth is, to prevent drugs from being a problem is not to legalize them. It is to fight those cartels and smugglers and prevent the stuff from entering the country. Those persons jailed for dealing and using will return…one day…to a world that is free from this stuff. Personally, I wish they would add alcohol to the list of "drugs". Far more families have been ruined by it than any other narcotic on the market.


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