01/04/2008

Border officers seize 1 ton of marijuana in N.J.

BY JOE MALINCONICO
Star-Ledger

PORT ELIZABETH, N.J. — The shortest route from Guadalajara to El Paso usually doesn't go through New Jersey by way of the Panama Canal.

So Customs and Border Protection officials at Port Elizabeth became somewhat suspicious about a shipment of pottery making that circuitous journey. They targeted the clay vases for a special inspection in Elizabeth, where the cargo container was being transferred from ship to truck.

And when they put the container through a imaging machine, they noticed there appeared to be something inside the vases. It turned out to be 1,097 bricks of marijuana, weighing more than a ton, with a street value of more than $5 million, Custom officials announced yesterday.

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