Officials seize drugs in produce shipments at California port

Officials seize drugs in produce shipments at California port

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at a California port of entry recently intercepted drugs in shipments of fresh produce, including almost 7 ½ tons of marijuana in a load of limes.

On Aug. 7 at the Otay Mesa cargo crossing, a tractor-trailer carrying a load of limes from Mexico was referred to a secondary inspection, according to a news release from the federal agency.

The officers discovered “anomalies” in the load during an x-ray imaging scan, and when officers opened the boxes, they found “large, tape-wrapped packages” in many of the boxes, which were listed as limes on the manifest.

Authorities found 622 tape-wrapped packages in the boxes, containing 14,880 pounds of marijuana, according to the release.

That same day, at the same port of entry, officers inspected a load that was listed as cactus; the pads are often carried by produce companies catering to distributors of items marketed to Hispanic consumers.

Officers unloaded the shipment for at a dock at the facility for in “intensive inspection,” according to the news release. A canine team screened the wooden crates and alerted officers to the presence of the drugs, sandwiched between the cactus pads.

The agency seized 668 pounds of methamphetamine in the crates, with an estimated street value of $1.5 million.

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