Border Dogs Sniff Out $2 Million In Weed Buried Under Jalapenos
K9s at a Mexico-California border performing a cargo check were able to alert police to more than $2 million worth of marijuana discovered buried in large cardboard boxes labeled as jalapenos.
The bust took place August 15 at the Otay Mesa border facility. California Border Patrol agents stopped a Hispanic male in his late-thirties after suspicions were raised from signals given to dog handlers, according to information shared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Authorities estimate that the seizure of the close to 8,000 pounds of marijuana is worth $2.3 million. The shipment of jalapeno-disguised weed was transported to the facility in a trailer just after 6 p.m. In total, 314 wrapped bundles were discovered, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan hailed in an August 16 Twitter post. Otay Mesa has been a hot spot for drug smuggling for years, with agents seizing thousands of pounds of illegal drugs every year.
Just two days prior (Aug 13), the same facility seized more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in auto parts. Since October 1, 2018, the Otay Mesa facility has uncovered more than 80,000 pounds of cocaine, nearly 4,000 pounds of heroine, 226,000 pounds of marijuana, over 53,000 pounds of methamphetamine and nearly 2,100 pounds of fentanyl, according to CBP statistics.
In 2018, one of the biggest busts in U.S. history took place when a mother was pulled over in a van with her five children at the border stop, where it was discovered she had more than $1 million in meth, cocaine and heroine.
The Otay Mesa crossing is located 20 miles southeast of San Diego. The truck and trailer were seized by agents following the discovery. It is not known what charges the driver is facing as of yet.