June 19, 2018
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Half a ton of pot seized in Houlton

By Meagan Marston, Special to the BDN

HOULTON, Maine — Customs and Border Patrol officers last week seized 1,025 pounds of mariuana from a commercial tractor-trailer attempting to enter the U.S. at the port of entry here.

The shipment, which has a street value estimated at $2.5 million, was described by officials as the largest seizure of drugs to occur along a land border in New England.

The marijuana was discovered around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, after the primary officer on duty at the Houlton port of entry became suspicious when the driver of the vehicle, a 35-year-old Canadian, responded inconsistently to routine questions.

“At that point the officers at the scene put the truck through a nonintrusive vehicle X-ray,” said port director Keith Fleming, “the results of which revealed certain anomalies in the shipment.”

The driver’s shipping manifest had listed a cargo of empty fish-totes. During the search, however, the totes were found to conceal peat moss packages stuffed with sandwich bags of high-quality marijuana.

Fleming credited the diligence and skill of the Customs and Border Patrol officers for the success of the bust.

“Our CBP officers are well-trained,” Fleming said. “They also have been given the technological tools that enhance their ability to uncover illegal contraband that is hidden in different types of vehicles that cross the border. This historic seizure shows that the hard work of our officers can, and frequently does, uncover significant violations of the law. In this case we were able to keep a large amount of dangerous drugs off our streets. It was good work by all those involved.”

The driver and the narcotics were delivered into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents for investigation.

No further information was available Friday.

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