Border stop finds almost 2,000 pounds of pot hidden in furniture

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NACO - The following is a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers foiled a sophisticated smuggling attempt at the Naco Port of Entry yesterday when they discovered 1,595 packages of marijuana hidden inside wooden entertainment centers coming from Mexico.

"This type of deep, sophisticated concealment is a sign of how much effort drug trafficking organizations must go through in an attempt to smuggle illicit drugs past our officers," said Port Director Al Acuna, "Our officers have proven they are up to the challenge."

At just before noon on August 19th, CBP officers screening commercial importations from Mexico entering through the Naco Port of Entry chose a shipment of wooden entertainment centers for intensive inspection based on suspicions raised during an examination of paperwork, questions asked of the driver, and a quick inspection of the items.

Officers conducting a thorough inspection of one of the entertainment centers discovered packages of marijuana hidden within the structure of the piece, and as they continued their inspection of the other items, discovered they were all concealing packages of marijuana.

Over a period of several hours, officers disassembled the furniture and removed 1,595 packages of marijuana, weighing almost 1,650 pounds. Estimated street value of the seized drugs is more than $2.7 million.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.

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.