OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry Saturday seized 577 large packages of marijuana hidden in a cargo shipment manifested as “red stone."
“My officers not only need to enforce typical import and export laws, but also need to be vigilant for smuggling attempts like this,” said Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez. “Officers used their skill and tools at their disposal to find and seize this large shipment, and then used sledge hammers and jack hammers to remove the packages from the stone shaped objects made from a cement type material.”
At about noon on June 11, a truck driver arrived at the Otay Mesa crossing with the cargo shipment. The CBP officer conducting the inspection referred the truck and shipment for an x-ray examination.
During the x-ray examination, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the truck and shipment to the dock for a more intensive investigation.
At the dock, a CBP officer with a human-narcotic detector dog screened the truck, and the canine alerted to the trailer. A CBP officer then drilled a hole through one of the supposed stones and extracted a leafy-green substance.
In total, officers extracted 1,619 pounds of marijuana hidden inside the cement stones, with an estimated street value of approximately $810,000.
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics.