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CBP Officers Unravel Big Marijuana Smuggling Attempt Finding Drugs Concealed In Huge Spools Of Coiled Cable

Release Date: 
April 16, 2015

EL PASO, TEXAS -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 1,365 pounds of marijuana Tuesday. The drugs have an estimated street value of $1,092,000.

Large spools contained hidden marijuana

Large spools contained hidden marijuana

“Because of the complexity of the drug concealment it took CBP more than 12 hours to open and remove the drugs from specially built compartments,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Beverly Good. “Smugglers spared no expense and went to great lengths to conceal this drug load.”

The events leading to the seizure began at approximately 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when a 1994 Peterbilt tractor towing a flatbed trailer entered the Bridge of the Americas commercial cargo lot from Mexico. The flatbed trailer was transporting six reels of wound cable.

CBP officers selected the vehicle for an x-ray exam. The vehicle and commodity were scanned showing dense areas within the spools. CBP drug sniffing dog “Bianca” searched the shipment and alerted to the large spools.

CBP Officers used power tools to access hidden compartments

CBP Officers used power tools to access hidden compartments

CBP officers removed the cable from a spool and located a specially built non-factory metal compartment under the cable. CBP officers drilled into the compartment and retrieved a green substance which tested positive for marijuana.

CBP officers removed the cable from all the spools. Each of the six spools was modified to include a metal compartment. High powered tools were used to cut open the metal compartments. CBP officers recovered a total of 641 marijuana-filled bundles from the compartments. The truck and trailer were seized. No arrest was made. The investigation continues.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017