LAREDO, Texas - Officers seized nearly two tons of marijuana Monday after discovering 5,754 packets of the substance hidden in a shipment of lettuce, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
A canine found the drugs after a CBP officer sent the lettuce-hauling tractor-trailer to a secondary inspection at the Lardo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge, authorities said. The Bridge crosses the Rio Grande between the U.S. and Mexico.
Officials estimated that the 3,707 pounds of marijuana recovered had a street value of $741,200.
“This is truly an example of our CBP officers’ hard work, experience and dedication to the CBP mission,” Laredo Port of Entry director Gregory Alvarez said in a statement. “I congratulate the officers in advancing the CBP mission and protecting the public from illegal narcotics.”
The case was turned over to special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division for investigation.
It’s not the first time officials have found marijuana camouflaged in a produce shipment.
Officers in February seized about 3,950 pounds of marijuana from a key lime shipment that entered the U.S. at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas. The marijuana had been hidden in lime-shaped bundles, according to CBP.
A shipment of bell peppers was inspected in May and revealed more than 13,700 pounds of hidden marijuana at the Port of Nogales in Arizona.
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