Some marijuana consumers around the U.S may experience shortages or price increases after a sharp increase in the frequency of one ton or more marijuana busts along highways. Avocados, bananas, batteries and toilet paper are just a few of the things police have found more than 29,000 pounds of marijuana hidden inside while conducting searches of tractor trailers already during the month of February.
While many of the busts took place in Texas, it’s still unclear where any of the trucks final destinations was, or more importantly, where there is expected to be shortages of marijuana. It’s also unclear if the trend is a sign of increased marijuana trafficking enforcement or a result of police investigations and/or informants.
Although it’s presumed that all of the busts were of the popular brick or “shwag” weed variety, usually imported from Mexico, some market strain could be put on locally grown higher grade supplies as a result.
Tuscola, Illinois (4,400 pounds)
Three men from California are being held on $1 million bond each after Illinois State Police found more than 2 tons of marijuana inside a semitrailer truck they were driving through eastern Illinois, 30 miles south of Champaign. A police K9 unit discovered the bundles of marijuana hidden among crates of vegetables. The suspects, 31-year-old Jesus Guzman, 35-year-old Eric Cabrera and 32-year-old Joshua Cornillez are all from the Livingston, California area. Charges have yet to be filed but marijuana trafficking charges are expected for each pending further investigation.
Loredo, Texas (2,317 pounds)
Around the 14th of the month, Customs and Border Protection inspectors discovered more than a ton of marijuana after conducting a secondary search on a trailer filled with 1,496 boxes of car batteries near Loredo. The unnamed driver of that truck was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) to continue with investigations.
Brownsville, Texas (2,161 pounds)
The same weekend of the Loredo bust, Border Patrol agents seized 2,161 pounds from a truck in Brownsville, Texas after agents found 66 bundles of marijuana concealed in metal boxes that had been welded shut. The unnamed driver in that bust was turned over to the D.E.A.
Rio Rico, Arizona (3,470 pounds)
on February 9th, ICE agents responded and established surveillance after receiving a tip about a mysterious semitrailer at a warehouse facility. During the investigation, agents discovered there was no truck associated with the trailer or driver in the vicinity. After obtaining consent from the warehouse manager, Agents discovered the 1.75 tons of pot in 156 vacuum-sealed bags hidden within a shipment of squash. No arrests have been made and the squash was turned over to a consignee.
Weslaco, Texas (2,500 pounds)
Around February 8th, a Weslaco, Texas police patrol officer stopped a tractor trailer hauling about 2,500 pounds of marijuana inside a shipment of avocados. Police arrested Marciano Noriega Gonzalez, 45, of Yakima, Washington, and Patricia Marquez De Haro, 47, of Corona, Calif after X-ray scans revealed anomalies inside the trailer.
Otay Mesa, California (3,877 pounds & 2,000 pounds)
During the first week of the month, inspectors at the Otay Mesa cargo port found more than 3,800 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of peppers and green beans. An unnamed 46-year-old Ensenada man who was driving the shipment was taken into custody.
A few days later, the same inspectors at the cargo port nabbed another ton of marijuana stashed in a load of bananas. An unnamed 40-year-old driver was arrested.
San Antonio, Texas (2,512 pounds)
on February 3rd, ICE agents seized more than a ton of pot as the result of an investiagtion that started after an inspector became suspicious of a truck that entered through Loredo. Agents followed the truck to an abandoned used car lot where they set up surveillance on the rundown building. When agents went in for the bust, they found the drugs concealed behind a fake wall that was hastily constructed. One unnamed person at the scene was arrested and police say they expect more arrests to come after an investigation.
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (6,000 pounds)
Around the first of the month, Pennsylvania State Troopers pulled over a truck that reportedly failed to stop at a weigh station on Interstate 81. Inside the trailer they found six plywood crates with about 3 tons of marijuana hidden behind boxes. Authorities have arrested Eric Emmanuel, 35, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, and Stanley Narcisse, 34, of Winter Garden, Florida.