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CBP Officers Seize 2,520 Pounds of Marijuana in 3 Separate Attempts

Release Date: 
August 25, 2010

San Diego, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo port of entry intercepted three narcotic smuggling attempts this Monday.

Drugs hidden inside Big Rig Tire

concealment inside Truck Tire

The first seizure occurred at about 11:30 a.m., when a CBP officer referred a 26-year-old Mexican citizen driving a 1991 Freightliner Tractor to the secondary examination area for further inspection.

During the secondary examination, an x-ray of the vehicle displayed anomalies, and a detector dog alerted officers to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. An intense inspection led to the discovery of 36 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed in the tires of the tractor. The total weight of the narcotic was 435 pounds with a street value of $217,500.

Drugs removed from railcar

One ton of marijuana Seized in Otay Mesa Cargo POE

The second seizure occurred at the Otay Mesa Rail Yard where vigilant officers were scanning the incoming rail cars with a rail x-ray. Officers noticed anomalies in two rail cars. Officers had the bottom door of the hopper open and they discovered a total of 16 bundles which had been magnetically attached to the structure of the rail car. The weight of the narcotic was 202 pounds with a street value of $101,000.

And the third and final attempt was at approximately 4:50 p.m. when a 1996 Freightliner tractor and trailer driven by a 37 year-old Mexican citizen entered the inspection facility, and the primary officer referred the tractor and trailer to the secondary inspection dock and x-ray area. CBP officers noticed anomalies in the x-ray and conducted an intensive inspection of the cargo in the trailer. A narcotic detector dog alerted to the presence of narcotics. Officers completely unloaded the trailer, which claimed to contain tackle boards for carpet installation. Concealed within the boxes of tackle strips, there were 263 packages of marijuana with a total weight of 1,883 pounds with a street value of $941,500.

The total amount of marijuana seized was 2,520 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,260,000.

CBP officers turned over the custody of the two individuals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. All are awaiting arraignment at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego. CBP seized the drugs, the tractors, and trailer. The rail car was released as soon as it was verified to not have any more narcotics.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017