Hot cargo: US Customs seize 4 tons of marijuana hidden among peppers

The marijuana was hidden in a stash of jalapeno peppers. — Reuters pic
The marijuana was hidden in a stash of jalapeno peppers. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, Aug 19 — US Customs officers have seized nearly four tons of marijuana worth US$2.3 million (RM9.61 million) hidden in a consignment of jalapeno peppers.

A sniffer dog alerted officers to a trailer with a shipment of peppers in San Diego on the border with Mexico on Thursday, Customs and Border Protection said.

The CBP statement said “a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen entered the port of entry driving a tractor pulling a trailer with cargo manifested as jalapeno peppers.”

Officers at Otay Mesa cargo facility found 314 packages of marijuana weighing 7,560 pounds (3.4 tonnes) mixed among the jalapeno peppers.

“I am proud of the officers for seizing this significant marijuana load,” said Otay Mesa Port director Rosa Hernandez.

It was the second large haul of marijuana at the facility in days.

Officers seized 10,642 pounds of the drug in a shipment of plastic auto parts at Otay Mesa on Tuesday.

CBP has seized 113 tons of marijuana so far this year, along with 41 tons of cocaine and 27 tons of methamphetamine.

In July authorities seized nearly 20 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than US$1 billion from a ship at the port of Philadelphia in one of the largest drug busts in US history. — AFP

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