US Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry has seized more than 15 tons of marijuana hidden in a cargo shipment of mattresses.
The seizure with an estimated street value of approximately $18.96million is the largest narcotics seizure ever at the border crossing, and second largest seizure at any border crossing nationwide said Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director, Rosa Hernandez.
“I am extremely proud of the work my officers do. Officers never give up their enforcement posture and demonstrate each and every day that they remain guardians of our nation,” said Hernandez.
He said the CBP officers open the truck with a manifest shipment of “mattress and cushions” to find more than 15 tons of marijuana.
“A driver arrived at the Otay Mesa crossing with a cargo shipment identified as “mattress and cushions,” he said.
The CBP officer conducting the inspection referred the truck and shipment for an x-ray examination.
“During the x-ray exam, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the truck and shipment to the dock for a more intensive examination. At the dock, a CBP officer opened the trailer’s door and immediately saw only plastic-wrapped packages stacked from floor to ceiling inside the trailer. Almost the entire trailer was filled with those packages from floor to ceiling, front to back, although there were a few mattresses stacked along the wall at the opposite end of the trailer from the doors,” Hernandez said.
He said the CBP officers have turned the driver, a 46-year-old male Mexican citizen with a valid border crossing card, over to agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations while the officers seized the tractor, trailer, cargo shipment, and narcotics.
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