577 packages of marijuana found hidden in fake stones

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OTAY MESA, Calif. — More than 575 large packages of marijuana were found hidden in a cargo shipment manifested as “red stone” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry Saturday.

The truck first underwent an x-ray examination and then a narcotic detector dog alerted officers to the trailer. A CBP officer then drilled a hole through one of the fake stones and found marijuana.

“My officers not only need to enforce typical import and export laws, but also need to be vigilant for smuggling attempts like this,” said Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez. “Officers used their skill and tools at their disposal to find and seize this large shipment, and then used sledge hammers and jack hammers to remove the packages from the stone shaped objects made from a cement type material.”

In total, 1,619 pounds of marijuana was hidden inside the cement stones, with an estimated street value of approximately $810,000.

CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics.