COLUMBUS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Columbus port of entry seized 719.5 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of $575,600, on Friday.
“Smugglers went to great lengths in an effort to disguise this drug shipment, but CBP officers at the port worked harder to find it,” said Robert Reza, CBP Columbus Port director.
The events leading to the seizure began shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, when a 1999 Freightliner tractor towing a flatbed trailer loaded with a “belly dump” arrived at the port from Mexico. CBP officers noticed a number of issues with the shipment and initiated a secondary exam, during which they spotted marijuana bundles hidden within the beams of the cargo shipment. A CBP drug-sniffing dog searched the vehicle and also were alerted to the belly dump in the trailer.
The officers continued their exam and removed 16 steel containers from the side support beams of the belly dump. The containers were cut open and 17 large blocks of compressed marijuana were removed. The drugs and conveyance were seized. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.