Saturday, December 27, 2014

Head scratcher: Smuggler attempts to ship marijuana from PHL to Caribbean

Customs agents seized a pistol and more than a pound of pot last week at an air shipment broker just outside of Philadelphia.
Customs agents seized a pistol and more than a pound of pot last week at an air shipment broker just outside of Philadelphia.
Customs agents seized a pistol and more than a pound of pot last week at an air shipment broker just outside of Philadelphia. Gallery: Head scratcher: Smuggler attempts to ship marijuana from PHL to Caribbean

Marijuana is smuggled all the time from the Caribbean into the United States, but with what frequency does ganja move in the opposite direction?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents last week discovered more than a pound of pot stashed inside the casing of a small home stereo headed for Trinidad and Tobago. 

CBP routinely examines outbound air cargo for contraband. Last Thursday, as a rectangular box was X-rayed at a shipping broker near Philadelphia International Airport, an agent noticed something unusual on the monitor -- the image of a gun.

Agents opened the box and disassembled the stereo receiver. Inside was a Springfield Armory XD semi-automatic handgun, one magazine, and 10 vacuum-sealed bags containing a green, leafy material. 

“We took it apart and that’s what we found,” said Steve Sapp, a spokesman for the CBP.

Marijuana is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago, a nation of two small islands off the coast of Venezuela. However, enforcement of the law is reportedly lax.

The gun was a nice catch, Sapp said. Totally unexpected was the 540 grams of well-packed cannabis.

“It was only a bit more than a pound,” Sapp said. “But it’s very unusual for us to find marijuana being shipped from the U.S. to Trinidad.”

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