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Officers Seize 1,500 Pounds of Marijuana Hidden in Shipment of Tea Leaves

Release Date: 
July 10, 2015

SAN DIEGO — CBP officers at the Otay Mesa cargo crossing Wednesday seized more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of hibiscus tea leaves.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found marijuana hidden in this shipment of hibiscus tea leaves

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found marijuana hidden in this shipment of hibiscus tea leaves.

“This was good work by the team of officers working at the port of entry,” said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa cargo facility.  “Their hard work and effective scrutiny stopped marijuana from entering the U.S. and ultimately, funds from flowing back into the pockets of transnational criminal organizations.”

At about 5:30 p.m. on July 8, a truck entered the Otay Mesa cargo facility from Mexico with a shipment that was listed as natural hibiscus tea flowers.

The CBP officer referred the truck to the dock for a more intensive inspection.  A CBP officer with a human/narcotic detector dog screened the truck, and the canine alerted to the rear of the truck. 

The shipment of hibiscus tea flowers was offloaded, and officers found packages with marijuana hidden inside the cartons of tea leaves San Diego — CBP officers at the Otay Mesa cargo crossing Wednesday seized more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of hibiscus tea leaves.

In total, officers found 1,439 packages weighing about 1,515 pounds, with an estimated street value of $909,000.

CBP officers seized the narcotics and the truck.

During fiscal year 2014, CBP officers at the border crossings between California and Mexico, including the Otay Mesa crossing, stopped 132,075 pounds of marijuana from entering the United States.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017