Otay Mesa, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility seized one and a half tons of marijuana found hidden in a shipment of lettuce during a failed narcotic smuggling attempt Wednesday.
At about 7:15 p.m. on May 18, a 27-year-old male Mexican citizen with a legitimate Border Crossing Card, driving a tractor-trailer with a shipment of lettuce arrived at the border crossing.
The CBP officer referred the driver, truck, and shipment to the dock for a more intensive inspection.
The shipment of lettuce was unloaded onto the dock, and screened by a CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog. The canine alerted to the cargo.
CBP officers discovered cellophane-wrapped packages hidden in the lettuce shipment. In total, CBP officers found 136 packages of marijuana, weighing about 3025 pounds and worth an estimated $1.8 million.
The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and his border crossing card was cancelled.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego accepted the case for prosecution.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.