Customs officers in Otay Mesa find 10 tons of cannabis in cargo shipment

United States Customs and Border Protection officials said the drugs had an estimated street value of about $8.4 million


NOV. 20, 2019 4:27 PM

OTAY MESA — Customs officers discovered more than 10 tons of marijuana — with what they say has a street value of about $8.4 million — hidden inside a semi-trailer Monday at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry, authorities said.

The cannabis-laden commercial truck was approaching the border around 9 a.m. Monday when a Customs and Border Protection officer referred the truck and its shipment for additional inspections, CBP officials said in a statement. The truck’s manifest claimed it contained a shipment of plastic clothes hangers.

After an X-ray examination revealed an anomaly and a drug-sniffing dog zeroed in on the trailer, officers opened it, searched behind a few rows of boxes and discovered the illicit cargo “stacked from floor to ceiling,” customs officials said.

The cannabis, in 858 plastic-wrapped packages, weighed more than 20,000 pounds, officials said.

Customs and Border Patrol officers seized the semi, the trailer, the drugs and the legitimate cargo shipment inside the boxes, officials said.

Officers also turned over the driver, a 47-year-old Mexican citizen, to Homeland Security Investigations agents and canceled his visitor-business visa.