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14 tons of marijuana seized by U.S. Border Patrol

September 30, 2011 |  5:15 pm

1000 BundlesU..S. border authorities intercepted a tractor-trailer loaded with 14 tons of marijuana destined for the Los Angeles area in what is believed to be one of the largest drug busts ever by the U.S. Border Patrol.

A canine officer doing a routine inspection at the State Highway 86 checkpoint near Salton City detected the load, which was hidden inside large wooden crates. Agents pulled out more than 1,100 bundles of marijuana, worth an estimated $22.6 million. The 35-year-old driver was arrested.

The seizure is the latest in a series of enormous marijuana busts along the California-Mexico border. In November, U.S. authorities in San Diego seized 25 tons of marijuana, and two weeks later an additional 20 tons. Both loads were discovered in warehouses linked to Mexico by tunnels.

Last October, Mexican authorities seized 134 tons of marijuana in Tijuana -- the largest bust in Mexican history. Those drugs were believed to belong to the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico’s most powerful organized crime group, authorities said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration declined to comment on the ongoing investigation of Wednesday’s seizure, which was the largest in Imperial County history. 


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Photo: An agent inspects marijuana bundles. Credit: U.S. Border Patrol