OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo Port of Entry seized almost four tons of marijuana last week hidden in a cargo shipment.
“My officers used tools at their disposal to find and seize this large shipment, potentially taking millions of dollars from a criminal organization,” Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez said. “Not only do they enforce typical import and export laws, but they are also vigilant for smuggling attempts like this, she added.”
At approximately 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, CBP officers encountered a tractor pulling a trailer that entered the cargo facility carrying a manifested shipment of “electronics.” The CBP officer conducting the inspection referred the truck and shipment for an x-ray examination.
While the conveyance was in line to be x-rayed, a CBP officer with a human-narcotic detector dog screened the truck, and the canine alerted to the trailer.
During the x-ray exam, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the truck and shipment to the dock for a more intensive examination. Officers opened the trailer and found boxes containing more boxes with plastic-wrapped packages. In total, officers found 319 packages hidden inside the boxes, containing about 7,600 pounds of marijuana. The estimated value is approximately $3.8 million.
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, cargo shipment and narcotics.
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.