CBP Intercepts $2 Million in Drugs Hidden in Bell Pepper Shipment
CALEXICO, CA - Crime doesn’t pay—especially crimes involving innocent, unsuspecting produce. In the latest example of would-be criminals corrupting fresh fruits and veg for their own nefarious purposes, a shipment of bell peppers was discovered to be chock full of cocaine. Luckily, California Border Patrol was on hand to uncover some 242 pounds of narcotics.
“This was great work by the team of officers working at the Calexico East port of entry,” said Area Port Director David Salazar. “Their hard work and inspectional scrutiny stopped an extremely dangerous narcotic from entering the U.S. and ultimately, millions of dollars of illicit funds from flowing back into the pockets of transnational criminal organizations.”
According to the CBP report, the discovery went down shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday, May 20, when a truck from Mexico entered the Calexico East Cargo Facility with a shipment of green bell peppers. However, a keen-nosed CBP K-9 revealed that the pallets of peps weren’t what they seemed.
After CBP officers unloaded the truck, they discovered 100 cellophane-wrapped packages of cocaine hidden amongst the peppers—with an estimated street value of $2.1 million.
Needless to say, CBP seized the narcotics, truck, trailer, and took the 45-year-old Mexican driver into custody, eventually releasing him into the hands of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
Will drug smugglers ever leave our precious produce alone? AndNowUKnow will keep reporting.