San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility seized nearly a ton of marijuana Monday, hidden amongst a shipment of bananas.
At about 2 p.m. February 1, a 40-year-old male Mexican truck driver applied to cross into the United States from Mexico driving a tractor-trailer with a cargo load manifested as bananas.
CBP officers off-loaded the cargo, and screened it with a narcotic detector dog, which alerted to the shipment.
When officers opened the boxes, they discovered thin, square, wrapped packages hidden among the bunches of bananas. In total, CBP officers discovered 235 packages of marijuana weighing approximately 1,946.56 pounds, and worth an estimated $1.17 million dollars.
Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took custody of the driver; he is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correction Center.
This is the second large seizure at the Otay Mesa cargo facility in the past week. On Thursday, January 28, CBP officers discovered 315 packages of marijuana weighing 3,877 pounds commingled with a shipment of peppers and green beans.
"These two recent seizures highlight the diligence of our officers," said Rosa Hernandez, port director at the Otay Mesa cargo facility. "On average, we process almost 2,000 trucks daily at this facility. We work hard to make sure that we facilitate the trade that's the lifeblood of our communities and still stop those few that are trying to break the law."
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.