SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KTLA) -- Border Patrol agents from the El Centro Sector seized a tractor-trailer with over 14 tons of marijuana valued at more than $22.6 million dollars.
The discovery was made Tuesday evening after a canine team from the Indio station alerted to a large tractor-trailer at the Highway 86 checkpoint near Salton City.
Agents used a large scale imaging system to scan the trucks cargo area.
Inside they discovered multiple wooden crates filled with several bundles containing what appeared to be illegal narcotics.
In total, agents uncovered over 1100 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 28,300 pounds.
This is the largest marijuana seizure in El Centro Sector Border Patrols history and one of the top checkpoint seizures nationwide.
The 35-year old driver of the vehicle was placed under arrest and turned over to the DEA along with the marijuana and tractor-trailer.
Three weeks ago, customs officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility discovered 2,330 pounds of marijuana hidden in boxes of hot sauce.
Federal officials say a 39-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Tijuana, entered the cargo port driving a 1991 Freightliner tractor, pulling a trailer with cargo manifested as hot sauce.
Customs officers ran the tractor trailer through the ports x-ray imaging system that showed anomalies with the cargo.
When officers unloaded the shipment they discovered 123 wrapped packages of marijuana, commingled with bottles of hot sauce.
The marijuana has a street value of $1.4 million.
The driver was arrested at the scene.
Chicago Tribune 30th Sept 2011
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