OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry’s cargo facility have seized more than $5 million worth of marijuana concealed in a tractor-trailer.
According to a news release, at approximately 2:52 p.m. on Sept. 22, CBP officers encountered a 46-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a tractor-trailer, which had a shipment manifest for abrasive cutting wheels.
During initial inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver and tractor-trailer for further examination.
In the examination area, the rig was screened with non-intrusive inspection technology. The screening revealed anomalies that led CBP officers to conduct a thorough inspection of the tractor’s commodities, the news release stated.
CBP officers discovered and extracted 102 packages concealed within the shipment of abrasive cutting wheels. The packages were tested and identified as marijuana, with a total weight of 2,573.38 pounds.
“Even though we’ve noticed a decrease in the smuggling of marijuana, it remains illegal,” said Rosa Hernandez, Otay Mesa Port director. “This seizure highlights the constant evolving nature of the drug challenges our officers encounter daily.”
CBP officers seized the narcotics, while the driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing. The estimated street value of the narcotics is $5,146,760.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.