U.S. customs officials stationed along the Mexico border are accustomed to finding marijuana in unusual places. Inside the side door of an old van. In an unsuspecting tomato truck. Inside elaborate tunnels underneath the lengthy, 1,922-mile border separating the two countries.
And sometimes the would-be smuggled weed simply falls from the sky.
But on Jan. 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials found more than a ton of alleged cannabis stuffed inside “carrot-shaped packages,” according to the agency. The 2,493 pounds of suspected marijuana — and the fake carrots that acted as its packaging — were found at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility.
“Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the U.S./Mexico border,” port director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, said in a news release. “Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities.”
The tractor-trailer was originally registered as a commercial shipment of fresh carrots, according to the agency.
Border agents estimated the street value of the alleged marijuana at $499,000. The case is currently under the investigation of agents with Homeland Security Investigations.
From the agency’s press release on the bust:
On Jan. 10, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility encountered a tractor/trailer with a commercial shipment of fresh carrots arriving from Mexico. After referring the conveyance for a vehicle non-intrusive imaging inspection, CBP officers conducted a secondary inspection on the enforcement dock, which included assistance from a canine team. The examination revealed packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the bags of carrots. Officers removed and seized a total of 2,817 carrot-shaped packages of alleged marijuana which carry an estimated street value of $499,000.