Traffickers Smuggle Drugs Via Produce Trucks

Hidden among truckloads of peppers, bananas, toilet paper and medical supplies entering from Mexico, customs officers have been finding another type of import.

With drug cartels becoming increasingly creative in evading border authorities, it has become commonplace to find drugs embedded among the truckloads of goods that move each day through the nations ports of entry. Two weeks ago, inspectors at the Otay Mesa cargo port found more than 3,800 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of peppers and green beans. A few days later, they found a ton of pot stashed in a load of bananas.

Although the phenomenon isnt new, recent drug seizures in fruit and vegetable shipments indicate that traffickers may be targeting produce companies, said Jose Garcia, deputy special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. Smuggling trends are cyclic, he said, with traffickers using methods that show the best chance for success.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: The San Diego Union-Tribune