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Largest drug bust in history for Calexico ports nets 17-plus tons

July 27, 2013|By CHELCEY ADAMI | Staff Writer
  • More than 17 tons of marijuana were seized at the Calexico East Port of Entry on Thursday in a record-setting drug bust.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

CALEXICO — More than 17 tons of marijuana valued at nearly $10 million was seized at the Calexico East Port of Entry on Thursday in what is considered the largest narcotic bust ever at the Calexico ports of entry.

Around 3 p.m., a 2013 Kenworth tractor-trailer entered the cargo facility at the port with cargo that was supposed to be computer monitors.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer referred it for further examination. CBP officers ran the conveyance through the port’s imaging system and anomalies were detected in the cargo.

A canine team screened the conveyance and alerted to pallets inside the trailer.

Officers then removed 2,471 packages of marijuana hidden inside cardboard boxes behind pallets of computer parts. The packages had a combined weight of 35,274 pounds.

“This record-setting seizure at the port of Calexico has dealt a significant blow to the drug trafficking organizations operating in this region,” Port Director Billy Whitford wrote in a press statement. “These criminals should take notice that our CBP officers will work diligently to disrupt all types of drug-smuggling attempts at our ports of entry.”

CBP seized the narcotics and conveyance while the driver was turned over to Homeland Security.

Further information on the driver has not yet been released since no official arrests have been made at this point as part of an ongoing investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack said.

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or

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