Tons of pot seized from tractor-trailer crossing into U.S. from Mexico

| Friday, March 18, 2005

A tractor-trailer carrying more than 8,000 pounds of marijuana was stopped at California’s Otay Mesa border crossing earlier this month by officers of the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the agency announced recently.

The incident began when a tractor-trailer with California plates entered the U.S.-Mexican border crossing late in the evening Monday, March 7, officials said in a news release. When it was examined by officers, they ordered the rig to go through the port’s gamma-ray facility for a more intensive examination.

When that examination revealed a discrepancy in the 53-foot trailer, officers decided to hold it and conduct a more thorough examination the next morning.

That morning, officers found 662 wrapped packages containing marijuana with a value of roughly $4 million. The drugs – totaling 8,878 pounds – were hidden behind boxes of packaged Easter baskets.

The 33-year-old driver, a resident of Michaocan, Mexico, was interviewed by customs agents, but was released until agents conducted additional investigation.