Drug-Stuffed Jalapeno Cans and Fire Extinguishers: Bizarre Border Busts of 2013

San Diego's proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border makes the city a hotbed for drug busts at border checkpoints, and 2013 was no exception. From pot stashed in produce to heroin inside a fire extinguisher, here's our round-up of the most bizarre border busts of the year.

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On Friday, at the Otay Mesa cargo border crossing, an image scan and a human/narcotic detector dog alerted to the produce. A CBP officer probed one of the pallets of peppers and struck something unexpected hidden in the shipment.
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U.S. Border Patrol
On Dec. 1, 2013, Campo Border Patrol agents working at the Pine Valley checkpoint discovered methamphetamine buried inside a bucket of plaster in a vehicle passing through the checkpoint. The bucket was covered with joint compound in an attempt to conceal the drugs. San Diego's proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border makes the city a hotbed for drug busts at border checkpoints, and 2013 was no exception. From pot stashed in produce to heroin inside a fire extinguisher, here's a round-up of the most bizarre border busts of the year.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 19, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Otay Mesa cargo facility discovered 369 pounds of marijuana hidden inside a shipment of squash being carried in a Freightliner tractor-trailer. Officers detected anomalies within the cardboard boxes carrying the produce. When they searched further, they discovered 37 wrapped packages of pot stashed among the squash. Officials said the marijuana had an estimated street value of $221,400.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Nov. 14, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Otay Mesa cargo facility discovered 557 pounds of marijuana stashed inside a shipment of cactus leaves. The pot-laden shipment was carried in a 2009 Peterbilt tractor pulling a trailer attempting to pass through the cargo facility.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP officers detected anomalies within the wooden crates of cactus. A canine team screened the trailer and alerted officers, who then discovered 167 wrapped packages of pot hidden inside the crates. CBP officials say the marijuana had an estimated street value of $250,650.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Aug. 7, 2013, at around 7 p.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility discovered nearly 3,000 pounds of marijuana stashed inside cans of jalapeños. The shipment was carried by a tractor-trailer attempting to pass through the port of entry.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP officers ran the vehicle through the port’s imaging system, which showed anomalies with the cargo. When officers unloaded the shipment, they noticed weight discrepancies with the cans of jalapeños.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Jul. 5, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Tecate port of entry near San Diego discovered more than 10 pounds of heroin stuffed inside two fire extinguishers in a Ford F-150 attempting to cross the inspection point.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
One fire extinguisher contained a package stuffed with almost six pounds of heroin while the other fire extinguisher contained a package filled with more than five pounds of heroin. The drugs had an estimated street value of $150,000.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On May 9, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility discovered more than 1,600 pounds of marijuana comingled with a shipment of cucumbers being carried in a trailer. CBP officers found 288 packages of pot mixed in with the cucumber shipment.
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Back in May, at the Otay Mesa cargo border crossing, an image scan and a human/narcotic detector dog alerted to the produce. A CBP officer probed one of the pallets of peppers and struck something unexpected hidden in the shipment. Inside, officers discovered bundles of marijuana.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Apr. 10, 2013, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer and detector dog working at the Otay Mesa port of entry discovered nearly 43 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the spare tire of a 2012 Nissan Frontier.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
On Mar. 27, 2013, officers, with the help of imaging technology and a detector dog, found 232 packages of pot stashed inside the boxes of frozen tongue fish.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry discovered more than a half ton of marijuana hidden inside a shipment of frozen fish being carried by a truck attempting to cross the checkpoint.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Officers, with the help of imaging technology and a detector dog, found 232 packages of pot stashed inside the boxes of frozen tongue fish.
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U.S. Border Patrol
On Jan. 16, 2013, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the I-5 checkpoint in San Clemente, Calif., discovered 29 bundles of cocaine and one bundle of heroin hidden inside a speaker box in the trunk of a 2000 Nissan Sentra attempting to pass through the checkpoint. The cocaine weighed nearly 85 pounds and was valued at $931,260. The heroin was valued at $27, 840.
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U.S. Customs and Protection
In early January, 42 packages of marijuana were found stashed inside boxes of frozen carrots on the back of a truck trying to pass through the Otay Mesa cargo facility.
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