Otay Mesa, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility Friday seized more than 500 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of ceramic tiles.
At about 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20, a driver with a shipment of ceramic tiles arrived at the Otay Mesa cargo facility and the CBP officer referred the driver, truck and shipment for a more intensive inspection.
While screening the truck with an imaging device, similar to an x-ray, CBP officers noticed anomalies with the shipment.
The cargo was unloaded onto the dock, and screened by a CBP officer with a human/narcotic detector dog. The canine alerted to the boxes of ceramic tiles.
CBP officers found 56 packages hidden inside the ceramic tile shipment, with a total weight of about 530 pounds, worth an estimated $318,000.
The driver, a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen, was arrested, turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
CBP seized the truck, shipment and narcotics.
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.