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Mexican tractor-trailer hauling plaster decorations that conceal drugs

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers seized 591 lbs. of marijuana on May 1 at the El Paso port of entry.

The seizure was made when a 1994 Volvo tractor, arriving from Mexico towing a trailer loaded wood wrapped and palletized plaster items was stopped to be examined with an x-ray system. The scan identified a number of anomalies in the shipment at which point a custom patrol sniffing dog “Latte” search the truck and alerted the officers to the pallets. The officers broke open several plaster figurines, columns, and other items and recovered 384 marijuana filled bundles. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $473,000. No arrests were made in the investigation is continuing.

Smugglers will sometimes try to conceal drugs in everyday items that are routinely imported,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “The vigilance of CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry identified and stopped this unusual drug load.”

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