U.S. Customs seized a consignment of fake carrots that had weed stuffed into them. Authorities have estimated the value of the seized marijuana to be about half a million dollars.
The weed, weighing about a ton, was intercepted at the Pharr International Bridge. The consignment of marijuana was neatly hidden in fake carrots, which were randomly mixed with the real vegetable. It was nearly impossible to decipher which of the carrots were fake. As a result, the U.S. Customs sought the help of non-intrusive imaging technology and later brought in trained canines to sniff out the weed, reported New York Magazine.
Officers in Pharr, Texas, on Sunday found 2,493 pounds of marijuana concealed within a commercial shipment of fresh carrots entering from Mexico, reported CNN. Although the officials have advised the stuff stashed within the fake carrots hasn’t been confirmed to be marijuana, experts are pretty confident that it is weed. The consignment was intercepted on January 10.
Speaking about the fake carrots stuffed with weed, Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry said in an official statement, “Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the border. Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities. Some Mexican drug lord might be handy with a glue gun, but it takes more than crafting skills to fool border patrol.”
The inconspicuous tractor-trailer appeared to be ferrying vegetables to Texas from Mexico when agents posted at Pharr International Bridge, suspecting something fishy, stopped it. The trailer was tagged for a more in-depth inspection, reported the San Antonio Express-News. Upon closer inspection of the trailer, and more specifically at the contents it was ferrying, officials realized that quite a few of the carrots didn’t appear natural. Many of the carrots were abnormally long and shiny, as compared to the garden variety. However, they were carefully mixed with real carrots. It would have been extremely difficult for the untrained eye to spot the fake carrots in the trailer full of the vegetables.
After the officials separated the fake carrots containing the weed from real ones, they ended with a heap of 2,817 packages. The packages were of the smokable variety of marijuana. However, officials confirmed that while the marijuana did look like weed, it did not smell like pot. After the final tally, it became clear that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had just busted a consignment weighing almost 2,500 pounds (1,130 kilograms) of marijuana. Had the pot ended up on the streets of America, it would have netted almost $500,000. The seized carrots containing the contraband filled the beds of two pickup trucks. Agents with Homeland Security have taken up the case and expected to investigate further, reported Yahoo News.
It is not immediately clear how the producers of the weed managed to mask the odor of the marijuana. Marijuana is an organic product, however, the smokable variety, commonly referred to as weed or pot, requires quite a lengthy preparation, including carefully trimming and drying the leaves. There are multiple grades of weed, depending on the time the leaves are allowed to dry. Growers routinely experiment with artificial drying techniques to quicken the process. It is perhaps during one of the experimentations that the marijuana producers managed to churn out a product that doesn’t give off the typical odor.
While weed producers regularly resort to stuffing their produce in innocent looking products, it is not the first time that marijuana has been smuggled in carrots. According to official records, agents at this same checkpoint seized almost $2 million worth of alleged marijuana and cocaine that were hidden among carrots.
[Image via U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Yahoo]