A US border patrol horse was allegedly punched in the face by a 29-year-old woman found among a group of suspected drug smugglers.
The woman faces felony counts of animal cruelty, possession of marijuana, and transporting the drug.
Her arrest was made in Arizona, where agents with the US Customs and Border Protection Service were conducting enforcement operations near Why on Saturday night.
They spied nine people with backpacks walking north of the Barry M. Goldwater bombing range on State Route 85.
The group reportedly tried to run from approaching agents, but air units helped direct ground staff to six of the group.
It was during this encounter that the woman is alleged to have punched the patrol horse in the face with a closed fist.
Agents took possession of seven backpacks containing 374 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $US504,000.
The six people were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.