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Smugglers ‘Melon-choly’ after CBP officers intercept over $1.5M worth of cocaine concealed in Watermelon shipment

CALIFORNIA, USA – US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Calexico East Cargo Facility intercepted over $1.5 million worth of cocaine concealed within a shipment of watermelons.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at approximately 6:20 a.m., CBP officers encountered the driver of a truck and trailer. The driver presented a valid border crossing card to the CBP officer along with a manifest declaring watermelons. During the initial inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver along with the shipment to the dock for an intensive examination.

During the exam, a CBP canine team screened the tractor-trailer and alerted to the shipment of watermelons.

CBP officers searched the cargo where they discovered and removed 22 wrapped packages of cocaine, with a combined weight of nearly 120 pounds, concealed within the plastic pallets. The estimated street value of cocaine is approximately $1.5 million.

The 41-year-old male driver was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt. CBP officers turned the driver over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.

The cocaine, tractor, and trailer were seized by CBP officers.  

CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2023



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