By Isabel Keane
This plan to make some cheddar did not age well.
Nearly 18 pounds of cocaine from Mexico was discovered hidden inside four large wheels of cheddar cheese by US Customs officers at the Presidio Port of Entry in Texas on Thursday.
An X-ray scan of the cheese wheels from a pick-up truck displayed “anomalies,” spurring authorities to cut open the wheels, revealing 17.8 pounds of cocaine hidden inside, Customs and Border Protection said in a press release.
“Smugglers will sometimes try to conceal contraband in items that appear innocent to deflect suspicion,” said CBP Presidio Port Director Daniel Mercado.
“The thorough and extensive inspections performed by CBP officers stopped this unusual drug load from reaching its intended destination.”
Customs officers seized both the narcotics and the pick-up truck used to transport the drugs from Mexico.
The truck’s driver, an unidentified 22-year-old US citizen, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations to face charges connected to the failed smuggling attempt.
Smugglers have long gone to great lengths trying to bring drugs into the US, hiding bundles inside car batteries, seats, roofs and gas tanks — as well as more bizarre methods, like smuggling using pigeons.
Officials with the US Coast Guard offloaded a whopping $158 million of illegal drugs in San Diego earlier this month, and over 14,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $185 million in Miami last month.
Authorities arrested 12 drug smugglers during that effort that included nine separate cases.