OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo port of entry seized over 1,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of wheel parts.
“CBP officers not only enforce typical import and export laws,” said Otay Mesa Port Director Rosa Hernandez. “CBP officers are also dedicated to thoroughly inspecting cargo to keep narcotics from reaching our communities.”
At approximately 2:50 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, CBP officers encountered a cargo van that entered the cargo facility carrying a manifested shipment of “abrasive cutting wheels.” The CBP officer conducting the inspection noticed some discrepancies and referred the truck and shipment for an x-ray examination.
During the x-ray exam, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the van and shipment to the dock for a more intensive examination. A CBP officer with a human-narcotic detector dog screened the van, and the canine alerted.
Officers conducted an intensive inspection of the van and discovered several small boxes surrounding a large bin made out of cardboard. CBP officers opened the bin and discovered cellophane-wrapped packages. In total, officers discovered and removed 44 packages, containing about 1,000 pounds of marijuana. The estimated value is approximately $625,000.
CBP officers seized the van, cargo shipment and narcotics. The driver, a Mexican citizen, had his B1/B2 visa cancelled and he was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.
If you have any information related to suspected smuggling activity at the Otay Mesa Cargo facility, DHS encourages you to report it by calling its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.