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Officers seize more drugs disguised as produce

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working on the Texas border with Mexico caught another shipment of marijuana in Laredo posing as vegetables. A physical inspection of a trailer crossing the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge along with imaging and the help of a K-9 team resulted in the discovery of 5,754 packages of marijuana that weighed in at close to 2 tons. Fake bundles that appeared to be lettuce concealed the drugs.

Federal authorities estimated the value of the seized drugs at nearly $750,000. Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations will continue to look into the origin of the shipment.

Using vegetables to mask drug shipments has become a common tactic among border smugglers. In February, drug runners attempted to hide 4,000 pounds of marijuana in a shipment of key limes. In another case last year, nearly 3,000 packages shaped like carrots contained 2,493 pounds of marijuana and were mixed in with real carrots.

When authorities aim a drug charge at a person who allegedly possessed, manufactured or distributed drugs, the consequences of a conviction could be serious. To prepare a defense, the person could seek representation from a criminal defense attorney. An attorney might scrutinize the actions of law enforcement to see if the person's rights were violated by an unlawful search and seizure. Other factors, such as testimony from an untrustworthy informant, might allow the attorney to challenge assertions made by authorities. Along with attempts to limit evidence, an attorney could seek a plea deal from a prosecutor.

Source: CNN, "Nearly 2 tons of weed disguised as lettuce seized at Texas border", Amanda Jackson, June 29, 2017

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