San Ysidro, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro, Calif., port of entry seized more than 239 pounds of marijuana after opening the steel tire drums of a ground packer and finding packages hidden within.

A 33-year-old Tijuana man driving a Ford F-450 tow truck carrying a ground packer and his 17-year-old male U.S. citizen passenger applied for entry into the U.S. early Wednesday. A CBP officer roving the area received an alert from his detector canine, which reacted to the ground packer. Officers escorted the two occupants and vehicle to the secondary area for further investigation.

CBP officers found 239 pounds of marijuana concealed in the wheels  of a ground packer that was being hauled into the United States from  Mexico.
CBP officers found 239 pounds of marijuana concealed in the wheels of a ground packer that was being hauled into the United States from Mexico.

After officers inspected the equipment, they found 81 wrapped packages of marijuana hidden within the four steel tire drums of the ground packer, a machine commonly used for earth compaction. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $120,000.

CBP officers turned the case over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further investigation, who then arrested the 17-year-old passenger.

CBP seized the truck, the ground packer and marijuana.

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