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  4. Smugglers 'Melon-choly' After CBP Officers Intercept Over $1.5 Million Worth of Cocaine Concealed in Watermelon Shipment

Smugglers 'Melon-choly' After CBP Officers Intercept Over $1.5 Million Worth of Cocaine Concealed in Watermelon Shipment

Release Date
Fri, 03/17/2023

CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Calexico East Cargo Facility intercepted over $1.5 million worth of cocaine concealed within a shipment of watermelons.

Drugs
CBP officers at the Calexico East Cargo Facility intercepted over $1.5 million worth of cocaine concealed within a shipment of watermelons.

On Wednesday, at approximately 6:20 a.m., CBP officers encountered the driver of a truck and trailer. The driver presented a valid border crossing card to the CBP officer along with manifest declaring watermelons. During the initial inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver along with the shipment to the dock for an intensive examination.

During the exam, a CBP canine team screened the tractor trailer and alerted to the shipment of watermelons. CBP officers searched the cargo where they discovered and removed 22 wrapped packages of cocaine, with a combined weight of nearly 120 pounds, concealed within the plastic pallets. The estimated street value of the cocaine is approximately $1.5 million.

The 41-year-old male driver was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt. CBP officers turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.

The cocaine, tractor, and trailer were seized by CBP officers. 

CBP officers at the border crossing in Southern California stop illegal activity while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.

Follow the Director of CBP’s San Diego Field Office on Twitter at @DFOSanDiegoCA for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

Last Modified: Mar 17, 2023