CBP: Drugs found stashed in plaster decorations

CBP: Drugs found stashed in plaster decorations
Photo provided by CBP.
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POSTED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 11:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 11:04pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry said they seized 591 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. The drugs were hidden within plaster figurines, columns and other items imported from Mexico. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $473,000.

“Smugglers will sometimes try to conceal drugs in everyday items that are routinely imported,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “The vigilance of CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry identified and stopped this unusual drug load.”

The seizure was made just before noon Wednesday when a 1994 Volvo tractor towing a trailer loaded with wrapped and palletized plaster items arrived from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an examination of the vehicle including scanning it with an x-ray system. The scan identified a number of anomalies in the shipment.

CBP drug sniffing dog “Latte” searched the truck and alerted to the pallets. CBP broke open the plaster items and recovered 384-marijuana-filled bundles.

No arrests were made and the investigation is continuing.

The 591 pound drug bust was the largest of five made by CBP officers working at the El Paso port Wednesday. They seized 202 pounds of marijuana in four additional seizures.

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