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A pickup-truck driver that was set to travel into the U.S. from Mexico at the San Ysidro border station on May 23 was found to have 15 Velveeta-cheese-block-sized packets of marijuana attached to his vehicle.

The owner of the Toyota Tacoma had left his truck parked on the street May 22 in the Otay area of Tijuana. The owner reportedly called police when he went out to his truck on the morning of May 23 and noticed one of the pot packages lying in the street, apparently forgotten by the people who planted the would-be contraband.

Having read warnings published in local media about attempts by smugglers to plant drug shipments in border-crossing vehicles, the truck's owner phoned police, who, upon arrival, discovered the pot with the help of a drug-sniffing dog.

The bricks of marijuana, affixed to the truck's chassis by magnets and wrapped in plastic, were slathered with mustard in an attempt to disguise the aroma. The owner stated he had noted a car passing by his truck several times on the evening of May 22 but did not think much of the occurrence. No arrests were made.

Tijuana’s Secretaria de Seguridad Pública Municipal (Secretary of Public Safety) commented that sometimes GPS devices are included in such packets so that smugglers can locate and track the vehicle that is carrying the contraband once it crosses into the U.S.

Several daily border-crossers have been victimized by such “pot plantings” in the past several months, including a primary school teacher who found a backpack containing 30 kilos of pot inside her car as she was heading toward the border.

Recently, a magnet-clad two-kilo paquete of marijuana was found in the street near the San Ysidro border crossing. Also on May 22, a resident of Las Playas was alerted by motorists that something was hanging from under his vehicle as he approached the Otay border station — another magnetized pot package. Unbeknownst to him, the motorist was hauling 12 packages of marijuana.

Sources: Frontera, El Mexicano, La Segunda

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