Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Otay Mesa cargo facility seized almost four tons of marijuana mixed in with a shipment of jalapeño peppers. The pot is valued at $2.3 million.
On Aug. 15, at about 6:15 p.m. a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen entered the port of entry driving a tractor pulling a trailer with cargo manifested as jalapeño peppers. The CBP officer subsequently referred the truck to secondary inspection, according to a press release.
When the conveyance arrived to the dock, a canine team roving the area alerted to the palletized shipment of peppers. CBP officers probed the shipment and discovered a leafy-green like substance that field-tested positive for the properties of marijuana.
CBP officers extracted 314 large wrapped packages of marijuana co-mingled within the shipment of jalapeño peppers, weighing 7,560 pounds. They seized the truck and marijuana.
“I am proud of the officers for seizing this significant marijuana load,” said Otay Mesa Port Director, Rosa Hernandez. “Not only did they prevent the drugs from reaching our community, they also prevented millions of dollars of potential profit from making it into the hands of a transnational criminal organization.”
This interdiction follows a 10,642 pounds marijuana seizure in a shipment of plastic auto parts that occurred on August 13 at the cargo facility.
Last year, Custom officers seized 5,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in a truck loaded with jalapeño peppers. The drug was detected at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, Texas, on January 23th, 2018. The same month, Customs and Border Protection agents at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas discovered about 800 pounds of marijuana in a shipment of cucumbers.
It Wasn’t Just a Cake
Officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge uncovered more than filling when they discovered $35,000 worth of cocaine hidden inside a cake.
“This interception of narcotics certainly ranks high on the list of creativity,” said Port Director Sylvia Briones, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “I commend our officers for the excellent teamwork and their successful interception of narcotics.”
CBP officers assigned to the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge on August 11 encountered a 22-year-old female United States citizen arriving from Mexico in a taxicab. A CBP officer referred the Reynosa resident along with the other occupants in the taxi for further inspection.
It was during the secondary examination, which included non-intrusive imaging technology, when officers discovered two packages of alleged cocaine hidden inside a cake the woman was bringing from Mexico.
CBP officers seized the 4.54 pounds of cocaine and arrested the woman who was turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further investigation.