By BRAD WONG
OROVILLE, Wash. — U.S. border guards uncovered more than $5.2 million worth of Ecstasy inside a container truck's doors Friday, marking one of the largest Northwest drug discoveries of its kind in recent years, a federal spokesman said.
The discovery of 182 pounds of the drug occurred at the border crossing on U.S. Route 97 near Oroville, said Mike Milne, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.
Officials scanned the 18-wheel truck, which was heading to California, with X-ray technology and noticed "shading" in the tail doors, he said. They found 49 packages of the drug -- about 262,000 pills -- inside.
The Canadian truck drivers, a man and woman, were released, and U.S. officials had yet to arrest anyone. Investigators were trying to determine who owns the trailer and who packed it, Milne said.
In the past three or four years, smugglers have been trying to ship Ecstasy through the U.S.-Canadian border because it is more compact than "B.C. Bud," or marijuana, Milne said.
"It's more bang for the smuggling buck," he said.
The truck was hauling what was listed on its manifest -- wooden-pallet-making materials.
In recent years, that section of the border with Canada has seen smugglers attempt to sneak in marijuana, Ecstasy and illegal immigrants, including Korean nationals, he said.
Copyright 2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Northwest border agents find $5.2 million in Ecstasy in truck