Hundreds of pounds of pot found hidden in jalapeño shipment

SAN DIEGO – Border officers found more than 500 pounds of marijuana hidden in boxes of jalapeño peppers while searching a shipment of produce at the Otay Mesa port of entry.

The tractor trailer, driven by a 28-year-old Mexican man, crossed the border from Mexico at about 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25. A customs officer sent the truck to secondary inspection, and a drug-sniffing dog signaled the presence of drugs in the trailer. When officers searched the trailer, they found 100 large packages of marijuana wrapped in paper printed to look like jalapeños. The packages were hidden under real peppers.

The packages weighed a total of 527 pounds and had an estimated street value of about $211,000, according the Customs and Border Protection.

CBP officers made a series of narcotics seizures over the weekend totaling 590 pounds of methamphetamine, 18 pounds of cocaine, 5 pounds of heroin and 617 pounds of marijuana. Customs officers found the drugs hidden in vehicles and strapped to the bodies of border crossers at the Calexico, Tecate, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro ports of entry.

The drugs and vehicles were seized, and the suspected smugglers were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for legal processing.

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