Cow manure hid 1,700 pounds of Canadian pot
Diana Hefley Herald Writer
The Everett Herald
updated 12:19 p.m. PT, Thurs., Feb. 19, 2009
LOCAL NEWS – SUMAS — A load of cows headed for Stanwood was sent back to Canada after border officers found more than $6 million worth of marijuana hidden under the floor of the cattle trailer.
About 1,700 pounds of potent “B.C. Bud” marijuana was stuffed in hidden compartments beneath cow manure and urine, said Thomas Schreiber, chief officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Blaine.
“It was a messy operation,” Schreiber said Wednesday.
A British Columbia man, 39, was arrested and turned over to agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The truck driver was selected for an intensive inspection Tuesday when he pulled into the Sumas border crossing.
The cows were offloaded and border agents used a gamma X-ray machine to examine the trailer and truck. The scan revealed some inconsistencies in the lower and upper decks of the trailer, agents said.
Border agents scraped off cow manure and unbolted false panels. Under the false floor, agents found hundreds of plastic bags of dope, officials reported. The marijuana, grown in Canada, sells for up to $6,000 a pound in the United States.
Authorities loaded the pot in 69 boxes and drove it off in the cow trailer to a secure location. The beef cattle were sent back to a Canadian farm, Schreiber said.
“We don't have the facility to detain cows,” he said.
Smugglers have used various fronts to sneak drugs over the border.
Police in Snohomish County in 2006 discovered nearly a ton of smuggled marijuana at a Stanwood weigh station. The dope was hidden in 15-foot plastic pipes loaded on a big rig.
The marijuana was later tied to a multimillion-dollar drug smuggling ring. The traffickers transported dope in hollowed-out logs, false compartments in cargo containers and propane tanks.
“While it is not every day we discover drugs hidden under cow flop, it does have its own unique, sweet smell of success,” Port Director Pat Hinchey said in a prepared statement.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, firstname.lastname@example.org.