By Julia Webster
August 19, 2019

Border Patrol agents on Thursday discovered nearly four tons of marijuana hidden in a shipment of jalapeño peppers traveling from Mexico to the US, officials said.

The discovery was made at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego, Calif., when the 37-year-old Mexican driver was flagged for a secondary inspection, according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A canine team alerted to the shipment of peppers, where officials discovered 314 large wrapped packages, weighing 7,560 pounds, and containing a leafy substance that tested positive for marijuana.

Officials said the drugs were worth $2.3 million.

“I am proud of the officers for seizing this significant marijuana load,” said Otay Mesa Port Director, Rosa Hernandez in the press release. “Not only did they prevent the drugs from reaching our community, they also prevented millions of dollars of potential profit from making it into the hands of a transnational criminal organization.”

The acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, tweeted a photo of the shipment on Saturday showing several green packages surrounded by jalapeño peppers.

“Very proud of our CBP officers in Otay Mesa!” he wrote. He also congratulated authorities for the more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana seized in a shipment of plastic auto parts on August 13 at the same cargo facility.

Write to Julia Webster at julia.webster@time.com.

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