Customs officers seized almost 5 tons of hashish final week from a truck that was making an attempt to cross into the U.S. on the Peace Bridge Port of Entry on New York’s border with Canada, federal legislation enforcement officers introduced on Monday. The seizure is the third massive pot bust this month on the border crossing that has seen an uptick in smuggling through industrial autos since journey restrictions known as in response to the COVID-19 pandemic had been put in place this spring.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Misha A. Coulson stated in a press release from the Department of Justice that the truck tried to enter the United States not lengthy earlier than midnight on June 25. The industrial truck with Ontario license plates was carrying a load of 55 storage containers, in response to an digital manifest for the cargo.

When Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers carried out an x-ray scan of the truck, it revealed inconsistencies with the cargo within the trailer. The automobile was then directed to a CBP warehouse loading dock for additional examination of the cargo. During a bodily inspection of the truck, officers “recovered multiple packages of vacuum sealed bags containing a green leafy substance, which field tested positive for the presence of marijuana.”

Truck Driver Faces Life In Prison

Customs officers recovered roughly 8,320 sealed baggage from the delivery containers within the truck. A complete of 9,472 kilos of marijuana, which officers valued at roughly $20 million, was confiscated by customs officers. The driver of the truck, a 26-year-old Indian nationwide, has been charged with possessing 1,000 kilograms or extra of marijuana and importation of marijuana into the United States with the intent to distribute. The prices carry a compulsory minimal penalty of 10 years in jail and a most of life behind bars. The defendant has been arraigned earlier than a federal Justice of the Peace and is being held pending a detention listening to scheduled for Wednesday.

Port Director Jennifer De La O praised the seizure, characterizing it as “an excellent job by our officers from start to finish.”

“From recognizing a shipment that needed further screening, to the identification of the anomaly during the secondary scan, to the coordination with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations, our officers are committed to intercepting these illicit drugs from being smuggled in,” she stated.

The hashish confiscated final week represents the most important seizure of marijuana ever within the Justice Department’s Western District of New York, in response to authorities officers. The bust can also be the third main interception of hashish being smuggled into the United States on the Peace Bridge Port of Entry this month. On June 5, CBP officers confiscated greater than 800 kilograms of marijuana value an estimated $2 million from a truck making an attempt to cross into the U.S. And on June 13, greater than 3,300 kilos of pot was seized from one other industrial automobile.

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