It wasn’t exactly Peter Piper’s peck of pickled peppers, but a shipment of what border agents deemed to be funky pickles got the shippers in a peck of trouble.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility smelled something off, decided to investigate a tractor-trailer load of cucumber pickles, and discovered more than 200 pounds of alleged methamphetamine worth $4.3 million, the agency announced last week.
The 114 packages were being smuggled into the U.S. in a commercial shipment of fresh produce, CBP said.
The contraband was found after agents conducted a “nonintrusive imaging system inspection,” in which packages or shipments are subject to X-ray or Gamma-ray imaging, CBP explained. They found the 217 pounds concealed within the trailer, the agency said.
The tractor-trailer was promptly seized, and Homeland Security launched an investigation.
“This substantial quantity of hard narcotics will not make its final destination in the United States,” said Carlos Rodriguez, port director for the Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas in a statement. “This interdiction reinforces our officers’ role in advancing CBP’s border security mission by preventing dangerous drugs from entering and negatively impacting our communities.”