Not the spicy jalapeño peppers nor the freshness of the cucumbers managed to deceive the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who seized almost three tons of marijuana that had been hidden inside these two shipments from Mexico in recent weeks.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents performed a routine inspection of a cargo truck that transported jalapeño peppers through the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, Texas, on January 23th.
When a CBP officer referred a tractor trailer hauling the shipment of jalapeño peppers for a secondary inspection with dogs trained to detect drugs and a non-intrusive imaging system, the authorities discovered a total of 1,341 packages of marijuana hidden in the cargo, weighing 5,000 pounds.
“This is definitely a significant seizure and I commend the CBP officers involved,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “This is a great example of the effectiveness of the layered enforcement inspection process implemented by our CBP officers.”
The marijuana has an estimated street value of $1,000,182.
CBP officers seized the narcotics. The case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
A few days before, Customs and Border Protection agents at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas discovered about 800 pounds of marijuana in a shipment of cucumbers.
Despite facing bad weather conditions due to a winter storm, CBP agents inspected a cargo truck that transported cucumbers using canine teams to detect drugs and the non-intrusive imaging system.
Hidden in the shipment of vegetables, the agents discovered 285 packages of marijuana weighing 790 pounds. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $158,070.
“Despite the inclement weather, our officers remain resolute and determined in continuing to carry out the CBP mission. By halting this drug smuggling attempt we continue to make our communities safer,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.