U.S. Customs and Border Protection found more than 1,400 pounds of marijuana inside a shipment of coconuts at the U.S.-Mexico border.
On May 9, the agency’s Office of Field Operations found 1,423 pounds of marijuana inside a commercial shipment of coconuts, one of several instances where fruits and vegetables have been used in an attempt to smuggle drugs across the border with Mexico.
Officials assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility in Pharr, Texas, came across a semitrailer with a cargo of coconuts from Mexico. With the help of specially trained dogs and a non-intrusive imaging inspection, authorities found 2,486 packages of marijuana hidden within the coconuts. The marijuana's value is approximately $285,000, reports the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"Our officers' ability to use all available resources, combined with their experience, has resulted in numerous discoveries of illegal narcotics," said Customs and Border Protection Port Director Efrain Solis Jr. "We are keeping drugs off our streets, protecting our communities and our vigilance is continuous."
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In March 2016, officers at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered more than 700 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of broccoli. Border agents found 661 packages of marijuana, valued at $153,000.
"I commend our frontline officers at our cargo facility for their dedication and commitment towards the CBP mission of helping keep drugs from crossing our border," Solis remarked of the incident. "Our ability to analyze all the information presented with commercial importations in conjunction with officer experience, is the basis for accomplishing these type of interceptions."
In January 2016, over 2,400 pounds of marijuana were discovered in a shipment of fresh carrots, which consisted of 2,817 carrot-shaped packages worth almost half a million dollars.
"Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the U.S.-Mexico border," Solis stated. "Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities."