More than 400 pounds of weed seized from Cincinnati border control (and dog).
Outwardly, they looked like dehumidifiers. A look inside the devices revealed more than a million dollars worth of contraband. That was the loot intercepted by US Customs and Border Protection officers – and their trusty drug sniffing dog Bruno – in Cincinnati over the weekend.
The dog apparently alerted officers Saturday to “a shipment of dehumidifiers, each containing vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana,” the agency said.
The shipments arrived at the Port of Cincinnati, “and while he was doing canine surgeries, Bruno drew attention to these dehumidifiers that were arriving from Ontario, Canada.”
“Officials inspected the first shipment and discovered vacuum-sealed bags hidden in the dehumidifier bins. Officials tested the substance, which tested positive for marijuana. Officers then inspected all 12 dehumidifiers and found each had bags of marijuana hidden — a total of 413 pounds,” Customs and Border Protection said in a release.
CBP said the shipment was “to a UK-based company and the illegal narcotics had an approximate street value of $1.10 million.”
LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, chief of field operations at CBP’s Chicago field office, praised Bruno’s work.
“Our canine teams are invaluable to the CBP enforcement strategy,” Sutton-Burke said in the release. “These bans are a testament to the hard work, dedication and training these teams put into protecting America every day.”
The agency “stressed that cross-border criminals are desperate and will take any action within their reach to get their illegal narcotics across our borders.”
“Our officers have been trained to identify and stop shipments that pose a threat to our nation and our international colleagues. We are committed to the CBP mission and continue to support our law enforcement allies around the world,” Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie said in the release.
While recreational cannabis is legal in a growing number of states — and Democrats in Washington continue to flirt with the idea of ending prohibition at the federal level — U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to intercept weed at the U.S. border and domestically ports of the country.
In April, shortly after New Mexico became the latest state to legalize adult-use cannabis, Customs and Border Protection issued a stern warning to anyone transporting weed in the state.
“Border guards have the power to fight drugs. Marijuana is still a prohibited drug under Schedule 1 of the United States Controlled Substances Act. As such, U.S. Border Patrol agents will continue to take appropriate enforcement action against those found in possession of marijuana anywhere in the United States,” the agency said at the time.
Earlier this month, Texas border patrol agents “seized over 200 pounds of marijuana in two separate events within five hours,” the agency said.
CBP said agents were “assigned to Bike Patrol and observed several people carrying bundles off the Rio Grande in Escobares [Texas].”
“Additional agents responded and interdicted when the smugglers attempted to load the narcotics into a waiting Chevrolet Tahoe. The Tahoe left the area when the smugglers left the bundles and fled back to the river. Agents seized three bundles of marijuana weighing 115 pounds and valued at $92,000,” CBP said in its press release.
Then, just after midnight the following day, agents “observed a group of ten people walking away from the Rio Grande south of Cuevitas” and eventually discovered £90 worth of cannabis.
“One of the Mexican nationals was turned over, along with the narcotics, to the Texas Department of Public Safety to face state charges,” the agency said in the release.