$45 Million in narcotics seized in shipment of tomatoes

$45 Million in narcotics seized in shipment of tomatoes
Custom and Border Protection
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 2:38pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility seized $45,397,000 worth of narcotics that were concealed within a commercial shipment of fresh tomatoes.

“This was an outstanding seizure of hard narcotics that was accomplished this weekend by our frontline officers and one that most certainly ranks high as far as value in the black market,” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.. “This interception will most definitely put a ding in the drug smuggling organization’s pocket book.”

On Saturday afternoon, November 2, 2013, CBP officers working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility came in contact with a red 1995 Freightliner tractor pulling a white 1994 Great Dane utility trailer. The conveyance contained a commercial shipment of fresh tomatoes as described on the shipment manifest. A CBP officer referred the tractor/trailer to secondary for further inspection and with the use of all available tools and resources, officers were able to locate packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the boxes of the fresh tomatoes.

CBP-OFO removed 380 packages weighing approximately 497 kilograms (1095.69 lbs.) of alleged cocaine with an estimated street value of $35,062,000, 106 packages of alleged heroin weighing approximately 132.12 kilograms (294.31 lbs.) with an estimated street value of $9,418,000 and 11 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing approximately 13 kilograms (28.66 lbs.) valued at $917,000. CBP-OFO seized all the narcotics, the shipment commodity and the tractor/ trailer.

Photos courtesy of Custom and Border Protection

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