Rangers using a thermal imaging device spotted a group of ten people with large backpacks crossing the desert near the park’s visitor center last February 10th. When they moved to intercept the suspected smugglers, the men dropped their packs and fled. Rangers arrested Francisco Javier Franco at the scene. A total of eight large backpacks of marijuana weighing just over 360 pounds and another filled with food were seized along with two-way radios and solar charging panels. An NPS special agent responded and provided assistance with interviews and the investigation. On July 14th, Franco was sentenced to 13 months and one day in federal prison on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He’d previously pled guilty to the charge.