U.S. Customs and Border Patrol say that agents seized a record 15 tons of marijuana after stopping a truck carrying a load of mattresses and cushions at the Otay Mesa crossing in San Diego, California.
According to reports, agents found 1,296 packages of marijuana inside the truck’s trailer. In total, the marijuana weighed 31,598 pounds and is reportedly worth an estimated street value of $18.96 million.
The truck was reportedly signaled for an X-ray as it attempted to cross the border and, as Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez noted, the agents noticed “an anomaly.”
“I am extremely proud of the work my officers do,” Hernandez said, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Reports say that this is the second-largest bust ever in recorded history. In 2013, 35,265 pounds of marijuana were seized at the Calexico East crossing in one day.
On Thursday, 46-year-old Mexican truck driver Martin Martinez-Penaflor, who was operating the vehicle containing over $19 million worth of marijuana, was arrested. Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego, says that the operation is being tied to a known drug cartel in Mexico.
After being booked at Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego, Martinez-Penaflor reportedly told authorities that he knew the truck contained drugs and was offered $50,000 to smuggle the load from Tijuana, Mexico, to Burbank, California.