US customs officers seize 146 pounds of cocaine hidden in ice cream maker
U.S. customs officers in Texas discovered several pounds of a white substance hiding in a commercial ice cream maker, authorities say – and it wasn’t salt or sugar.
Officers working at the Bridge of the Americas cargo facility in El Paso seized 146 pounds of cocaine, according to a news release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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The packages of illegal drugs were found concealed in a large ice cream machine that was being taken from Mexico to the US, according to the release.
Officers seized the drugs on June 19, when a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old Mexican man entered the port with the machine in tow, authorities said Thursday.
An X-ray scan of the truck showed anomalies and a CBP canine searched the vehicle.
A closer inspection revealed 56 bundles of cocaine stashed within the ice cream maker’s walls, the release stated.
“We estimate the value of this drug seizure at $1.2 million,” CBP spokesperson Roger Maier told CNN in an email.
CBP officers seized the narcotics and vehicle. The driver was turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he faces state charges connected to the alleged smuggling attempt.
“The vast majority of commercial shipments CBP officers process pose little risk, however, seizures like this remind us all that drugs can be concealed almost anywhere and that we must remain constantly vigilant,” said acting CBP El Paso port director Luis Mejia in the release.
CBP has seized over 33,000 pounds of cocaine so far in 2023. Last year, officers seized over 70,200 pounds of the illegal substance, data shows.