Here are some funky salad greens that almost made it to our dinner tables—5,754 packages of lettuce containing nearly two tons of weed.
Alas, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers didn’t appreciate the healthy efforts of the salad smugglers.
Instead the CBP nabbed a truck hauling the pungent Mexican “produce” on the aptly named Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge.
The phony lettuce-like bundles were sniffed out by a K-9 team, imaging, then a physical inspection of the trailer.
“This is truly an example of our CBP officers’ hard work, experience and dedication to the CBP mission,” Port Director Gregory Alvarez said in a statement.
Alvarez went on to congratulate the officers for the successful CBP mission and for “protecting the public from illegal narcotics.” Whew!
All that lettuce, which had an estimated street value of $741,186, is probably headed straight for the salad shredder.
But the truck drivers south of the border keep trying to send us fresh fruits and veggies mixed with their own green salad specialties.
Last year, some 3,000 carrot-shaped packages were discovered mixed in with real carrots. Then, there were the bell peppers, cactus, bananas, watermelon, coconuts and who knows what else?
In February, nearly 4,000 pounds of weed were camouflaged within a shipment of key limes, to be discovered by border officers in Pharr, Texas.
Perhaps a leafy green with a more pungent scent, like watercress or an aromatic arugula, would better mask those cannabis terpenes.
Or might they decide to go back to catapulting pot packages over the border fence?
And don’t forget the more tech-savvy smugglers who used drones, to send 28 pounds of heroin into the U.S. in April 2015, then meth again in August of that same year.
The case of the lettuce is now under investigation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security special agents.
Good luck, gentlemen. Something tells me you’re fighting a losing battle.