BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility seized more than 1,785 pounds of marijuana that was discovered within a commercial shipment.
On June 5, CBP officers referred a commercial shipment of coffee makers for further examination. During a Non-Intrusive Inspection scan of the commercial truck, an anomaly was noticed that concerned officers and the truck shipment was further inspected.
Subsequently, CBP officers initiated a physical exam and discovered sealed crates not consistent with other packaging. Further examination of the crates revealed sealed packages which contents tested positive for the properties of marijuana. The total weight of the marijuana seized was approximately 1,785 pounds with an estimated street value of $2.5 million dollars.
“This was an excellent job by our officers from start to finish,” said Port Director Jennifer De La O. “From recognizing a shipment that needed further screening, to the identification of the anomaly during the secondary scan, to the coordination with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), our officers are committed to intercepting these illicit drugs from being smuggled in.”
Federal prosecution of the driver was accepted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
“Recent events have created unique challenges for our Office and our partners in law enforcement as we work together to keep our communities and our Nation safe and secure,” stated U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy. “While the COVID-19 response may have slowed commerce across our Nation’s borders, this arrest proves not only that criminals persist in their efforts to break the law but that law enforcement remains vigilant in its effort to uphold it.”
This seizure adds to the already huge increase in drug seizures within the Buffalo Field Office since the restriction on cross-border travel began March 21. The Buffalo Field Office, which covers 16 ports of entry throughout New York State, has made over 225 narcotic seizures totaling more than 4,885 pounds – an increase of almost 1600% from fiscal year 2019 during the same time period.
"It is unfortunate that during a global health crisis, criminals are trying to exploit a tense situation for their own benefit,” said Buffalo Field Office Director Rose Brophy. “The work of the officers has been incredible and their dedication to CBP's enforcement mission is evident in these recent large load narcotics seizures.”
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