U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents say that they weren’t fooled after drug smugglers went to extraordinary lengths to conceal hundreds of pounds of illegal cocaine and methamphetamine inside large boulders.
CBP made the unusual drug discovery just before 11 a.m. on Monday, September 14, at the Tecate border crossing in California.
Authorities say that a truck driver arrived at the border crossing with a manifest indicating that he was hauling multiple tons of beach pebbles and stones.
After an officer noticed discrepancies in the shipment, a canine unit was brought in and alerted to the presence of narcotics.
CBP says that officers searched the truck and trailer and cargo, but “ultimately had to break open the large quartz boulders that were part of the shipment. Inside, officers found packages wrapped with black electrical tape, which had been cemented inside of the stones.”
In total, CBP discovered 229 packages concealed inside the large rocks — 104 packages of methamphetamine and 125 packages of cocaine. Combined, the approximate 337 pounds of methamphetamine and 223 pounds of cocaine have an estimated street value of almost $3.9 million.
The truck, trailer, shipment, and drugs were seized by federal authorities.
“Hard to believe, but this isn’t the first time CBP officers in California have had to actually break open rocks or other items to get at the narcotics that drug trafficking organizations have hidden inside,” said Jose Haro, officer in charge of the Tecate port of entry. “Our officers are well-trained to notice discrepancies to stop drug shipments like this from making their way into our communities.