CBP agents at the Otay Mesa cargo facility, near San Diego, stumbled upon the spicy surprise after x-raying the contents of a truck that entered the port last week, and noticed "anomalies with the cargo," reports
the Customs and Border Patrol.
A search of the tractor-trailer uncovered 123 neatly wrapped packages of marijuana mixed with a shipment of Mexican hot sauce. The packages contained 2,330 pounds of marijuana, with a strip value of $1.4 million, that was being smuggled into the United States from Mexico.
CBP seized the marijuana, the tractor and trailer, along with the load of hot sauce, and arrested the 39-year-old male driver. The driver is reportedly a Mexican citizen and resident of Tijuana.
At Washington Dulles International Airport, CBP officers were alerted to the unusual looking contents of an El Salvadoran man's luggage, that was found to contain 152 grams of cocaine hidden inside the shells of clams.
David Pocasangre Vaquiz, 26, was detained after agents reported he had approximately 80 clams in a black plastic bag. Upon further inspection the officers opened one of the clam shells, which had been glued shut, and discovered a baggie of cocaine. The agents found 15 cocaine filled clam shells in the bag.
Christopher Hess, Customs and Border Patrol Director for the Port of Washington, DC, said
, "Smugglers attempt all types of creative concealment methods to sneak their deadly poison into the United States and this is one of the oddest we’ve seen. This passenger took an enormous risk for only five ounces of cocaine and he now faces very serious narcotics smuggling charges.”
Vaquiz was arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle 5.36 ounces of cocaine, with a street value of $10,000, into the United States.