US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers report seizing a sizeable quantity of cannabis at Buffalo, New York’s Peace Bridge Cargo Facility, confiscating more than 1,785 pounds of pot that was hidden with a commercial shipment.
According to a CBP release, on June 5, officers flagged a shipment of coffee makers for further examination. During a scan of the truck, an “anomaly was noticed that concerned officers.” The US Justice Department says the vehicle had plates from Prince Edward Island.
The first scan was a non-invasive X-ray, while the next would be more hands-on.
When CBP officers “initiated a physical exam,” the release says they discovered sealed crates not consistent with the other packaging.
During an inspection of those particular crates, authorities say they located more coffee grounds, and “secreted under the coffee grounds” was a collection of vacuum-sealed bags containing a “green leafy substance.”
“The total weight of the marijuana seized was approximately 1,785 pounds with an estimated street value of $2.5 million,” CBP said.
Since then, the US Attorney has chosen to charge 21-year-old Indian citizen Arshdeep Singh with possessing with intent to distribute and importation of marijuana. A release from the Justice Department says the charges “carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.”
The CPS’s release says the Buffalo Field Office, which made the bust, covers 16 ports of entry throughout New York State and has made over 225 narcotic seizures totalling more than 4,885 pounds – an increase of almost 1600% from the same time period the year before.
Buffalo Field Office Director Rose Brophy says this uptick may be due to the ongoing pandemic.
“It is unfortunate that during a global health crisis, criminals are trying to exploit a tense situation for their own benefit,” said Buffalo Field Office Director Rose Brophy. “The work of the officers has been incredible and their dedication to CBP’s enforcement mission is evident in these recent large load narcotics seizures.”