SAN DIEGO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at two San Diego ports of entry Wednesday discovered more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana in roofing paper and almost 600 pounds of marijuana in the fifth wheel of a trailer.
At the Otay Mesa cargo facility at about 7 p.m., a 22-year-old male Mexican citizen drove a 1998 Freightliner pulling a flatbed trailer with cargo manifested as plastic waste to the port for inspection. The CBP officer referred the driver and conveyance for a more in-depth investigation.
Officers ran the truck through the port's imaging system, revealing anomalies within the fifth wheel of the trailer. The fifth wheel is the area at the front of a trailer that hooks to the tractor. Officers subsequently discovered 229 wrapped packages of marijuana in the fifth wheel area. Total weight of the marijuana was 559 pounds with a street value of about $252,000.
About a half an hour later at the San Ysidro port of entry, CBP officers encountered a 43-year-old male U.S. citizen, driving a 2012 Ford F-150 pickup truck with several rolls of tar roofing paper in the bed of the truck, as he waited in line for inspection. The officer noticed that there was something not quite right and escorted the vehicle for further inspection.
A CBP officer and his canine screened the pickup and the dog alerted to the truck. Officers inspected the rolls of roofing paper and discovered wrapped packages of marijuana within the hollowed out rolls.
A total of 124 packages were found, weighing 1,091 pounds, with a street value of almost $500,000.
Both drivers were arrested and taken to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. CBP seized both vehicles and the marijuana.
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.