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3,000 pounds of suspected marijuana disguised as watermelons seized, officials say

Suspected marijuana concealed within watermelon shipment

Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Hidalgo POE.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Hidalgo POE.

PHARR, Texas – Authorities discovered 3,000 pounds of alleged marijuana within a commercial shipment of fresh watermelons at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.

The seizure happened Tuesday when officers assigned to the facility encountered a white 1993 Thermo King tractor-trailer, officials said.

After the conveyance was referred for a secondary inspection, officers utilized a non-intrusive imagining system, along with the help of a canine team, to find the alleged narcotics. Officials said they extracted 390 packages that contained 3,000 pounds of alleged marijuana concealed within the watermelon shipment.

"Smugglers continue to be creative as they attempt to introduce illegal narcotics into our country," port director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, said. "Our frontline CBP officers' experience, vigilance and attention to detail prevents the introduction of these dangerous drugs into our country."

The suspected drugs, valued at $600,092, were seized by CBP's Office of Field Operations. Officials said the case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations special agents.