A shipment of jalapeños from Mexico proved to be a lot spicier than the average batch when United States border officials discovered the 3,400-kilogram shipment contained both peppers and marijuana.
The concealed narcotics were discovered after a truck driver was subject to a secondary search at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego, Calif. on Thursday.
U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP) says its agents discovered a “significant marijuana load” worth approximately US$2.3 million inside the shipment.
“Not only did they prevent the drugs from reaching our community, they also prevented millions of dollars of potential profit from making it into the hands of a transnational criminal organization,” Rosa Hernandez, Otay Mesa Port Director, said in the statement.
A 37-year-old Mexican citizen hauled the shipment into port at around 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 15, official said. No details of the driver’s potential criminal charges have been released, CNN reports.
A K-9 team detected something amiss with the shipment, prompting officials to inspect a leafy green substance taken from one of the packages. The substance was marijuana, CBP said.
The shipment contained 314 large wrapped packages of marijuana mixed in with the peppers, and weighed a total of 3,429 kilograms.
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As of Aug. 14, wait times for entering the United States at the Otay Mesa border jumped up to five hours as truck inspection times have lengthened, American Shipper reports.
Customs officials found more than 4,800 kilograms of marijuana in a separate bust at the same cargo facility two days earlier. The illegal cargo was hidden in a shipment of plastic auto parts.