Officials working at the Mexico-U.S. border discovered more than 1,400 pounds of marijuana hidden inside a huge shipment of coconuts.
The bust happened at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility in Texas.
A tractor trailer filled with fresh coconuts was referred for what border authorities call “a non-intrusive imaging inspection.” From there, drug dogs were used to sniff out the hidden cannabis.
By the end of the day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found 2,486 packages of marijuana carefully packed inside the coconuts.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the 1,400 pounds of seized cannabis has a street value of $285,000.
It’s unclear at this point where the shipment of weed-filled coconuts started out. It’s also not clear where it was headed.
Smugglers are constantly looking for new creative ways to sneak their cannabis into the U.S. And hiding it in shipments of fruits and vegetables seems to be a favorite technique.
In March border agents in Texas found 766 pounds of marijuana hidden inside a shipment of broccoli. The veggies were coming out of Mexico and into the U.S.
And in January authorities busted yet another veggie-themed drug smuggling attempt.
In this one, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found 2,493 pounds of cannabis hidden in a shipment of carrots.
The marijuana was packaged in the shape of a carrot and then wrapped up in orange tape to make it look even more convincing.
Of course, the only time we ever hear about a smuggling attempt is when it fails. So who knows how many of them work.
But maybe smugglers should rethink the whole hiding weed inside shipments of produce thing. It doesn’t seem to be working too well.
For years now there has been significant cannabis smuggling activity between Mexico and the U.S.
Officials have discovered elaborate systems of tunnels crisscrossing the border. In some cases, these tunnels include elevators, ventilating systems, electrical lighting, and intricate rail systems designed for shipping cannabis and money back and forth.
But cannabis legalization in the U.S. could be slowing things down.
At the beginning of the year, there were reports that black market marijuana cultivation in Mexico is down as a direct result of increased legalization north of the border.
And data from the U.S. Border Patrol shows that marijuana seizures in 2015 were the lowest in at least a decade.