More than 425 pounds of illegal weed was discovered hidden in lawn furniture made of concrete during a shipment inspection at the Otay Mesa port cargo facility on Friday.
The shipment of furniture on pallets entered the port from Mexico shortly after noon via a tractor-trailer rig, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.
When a drug-sniffing dog "alerted" to the trailer, officers launched a more intensive inspection effort.
The inspection required breaking into a section of concrete, revealing several packages of marijuana sealed inside.
In all, 122 packages of pot were discovered, with a street value estimated at $213,000.
Federal customs officers seized the tractor-trailer and drugs and turned over the suspected smuggler, a Mexican man, 45, to U.S. immigration authorities.
The seizure highlights the more "desperate and deceptive" efforts being attempted by drug smugglers to bring illegal drugs into the country in recent years, Andy Brinton, a San Diego CBP official said.
July 27, 9:06 AMSan Diego Crime ExaminerSteve Perez