CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Calexico East Cargo Facility have intercepted more than $1.5 million worth of cocaine concealed within a shipment of watermelons.
The bust happened at the California facility at approximately 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15, after CBP officers inspected a tractor-trailer and flagged it for further inspection, according to a news release.
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 and 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,” the news release noted. “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 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, Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
The cocaine, tractor and trailer were seized by CBP officers.
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