Otay Mesa, California - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo port of entry seized over seven tons of marijuana Wednesday hidden in a cargo shipment.

“This apprehension highlights the success of the Unified Cargo Program that has been implemented at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility,” said Otay Mesa Cargo Port Director Rosa Hernandez. “The successful working relationship between CBP and Mexican Aduana-SAT has collectively kept these drugs from flooding our streets.”

At approximately 1:20 p.m. on June 6, CBP officers encountered a 45-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a tractor pulling a trailer that entered the cargo facility carrying a manifested shipment of “metal racks.”  The CBP officer conducting the inspection made a collaborative decision with Mexican Aduana-SAT to refer the truck and shipment for an x-ray examination.

During the x-ray exam, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the truck and shipment to the dock for a more intensive examination. A CBP officer with a human-narcotic detector dog screened the truck, and the canine alerted to the trailer.

Officers opened the trailer and found boxes containing plastic-wrapped packages. In total, officers found 722 packages hidden inside the boxes, containing about 14,965 pounds of marijuana. The estimated value is approximately $8.6 million.

CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, cargo shipment and narcotics.

CBP officers cancelled the driver’s B1/B2 visa and turned him over to Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.