Sterling, Va. - A Customs and Border Protection canine unit discovered 21 pounds of marijuana concealed in 20 packages of chocolate that was air shipped to Washington-Dulles International Airport about 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The marijuana, which was destined to New York, has an estimated street value of nearly $17,000.
Demi, a 5-year-old German Shepherd narcotics detector dog, alerted to a mail bag that arrived from Mexico City, Mexico. One of the five boxes in the sack contained the marijuana.
CBP routinely employs detector dogs to inspect international parcels and checked luggage for a variety of contraband, such as narcotics, currency, explosives and agriculture.
"CBP canines are highly-trained and we use that specialty as a force-multiplier," said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington. "They can more easily and quickly discover illicit products than can our officers through physical inspections."
Demi began her career as a CBP detector dog in December 2007 in Brownsville, Texas. She moved to Washington-Dulles International Airport in 2009.
One of Demi's notable seizures occurred on Feb. 28, 2009 when she detected more than 16 pounds of cocaine concealed inside soup mix packets that arrived at Dulles from El Salvador.
The marijuana will be destroyed.
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.