SAN DIEGO — More than $5 million worth of illicit marijuana concealed in a tractor-trailer was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Friday, the agency announced.
Around 2:52 p.m., officers encountered a 46-year-old Mexican national driving a tractor-trailer. According to CBP, the tractor had a shipment manifest for abrasive cutting wheels.
After an initial inspection, one officer referred the driver and tractor-trailer for further examination with non-intrusive inspection technology. Authorities say the screening revealed anomalies that led CBP officers to conduct a thorough inspection of the commodities inside.
According to the agency, 102 packages containing 2,573.38 pounds of marijuana were discovered concealed within the shipment of abrasive cutting wheels. The estimated street value is $5,146,760.
“Even though we’ve noticed a decrease in the smuggling of marijuana, it remains illegal,” Otay Mesa Port director Rosa Hernandez said in a release. “This seizure highlights the constant evolving nature of the drug challenges our officers encounter daily.”
The marijuana was seized by officers while the driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing, the agency added.
CBP officers at the Southern California border crossing encounter illegal activity while engaging with the processing of millions of legitimate travelers entering the U.S., the department said.