Carrots, cucumbers and cocaine -- oh my!

- With a matter of hours, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations seized almost $2 million in cocaine and marijuana from two separate shipments of produce at the Pharr International Bridge in south Texas.

“This was definitely a productive weekend at our Pharr, Texas cargo facility,” said Acting Port Director Javier Cantu, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Our frontline officers accomplished these extraordinary seizures of narcotics while still processing legitimate importations, an outstanding and sometimes unnoticed aspect of our job duties.”

CBP officers conducted the first seizure on Saturday at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility following a secondary inspection of a commercial shipment of fresh cucumbers. Officers found packages of suspected narcotics within the boxes of the cucumbers on the inspection dock. They removed and seized 6,709 small packages of alleged marijuana which weighed more than 2,600 pounds and its estimated street value was more than $525,000.

The second seizure took place hours later at the same border crossing following the detection of 64 packages of alleged cocaine that were hidden in a commercial shipment of fresh carrots. CBP officers found and seized almost 164 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $1,258,000.

Between the two operations, the CBP seized $1,784,458 worth of alleged marijuana and cocaine by taking advantage of a non-intrusive vehicle imaging system and canine enforcement teams. Both cases remain under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents.

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