Border guards seize $4 million worth of cocaine hidden in decorative stone

SAN DIEGO — US Customs and Border Protection seized more than $4 million worth of cocaine last week after the drugs were found in a shipment of decorative stone, the agency said Wednesday.

Officials discovered the cargo at 10:30 p.m. Jan. 11 while inspecting a tractor-trailer that had driven into a Tecate cargo complex loaded with what appeared to be landscaping rock, CBP said in a press release.

CBP employees accidentally removed one of the rocks from the trailer after noticing an anomaly, officials said. The K-9 team then checked the shipment, alerting officials to drugs hidden in a plaster-like material made to look like a stone.

The shipment contained 57 cellophane-wrapped bags of cocaine, weighing about 256 pounds and worth about $4.1 million, according to an estimated street value provided by CBP.

The 36-year-old driver, a Mexican citizen, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs and placed in the custody of the National Security Investigation Division in conjunction with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

View CPB Enforcement Data here

As of January 6, there have been about 561,291 entries at all 300 checkpoints since October, according to CBP. Some 2,755 drugs were seized from these cases, including cocaine, fentanyl and marijuana.

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