Millions of dollars in marijuana was found hidden amid lead oxide in a tanker truck at the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday.
U.S Customs and Border Protection officers say a K-9 alerted to the tanker when it arrived at the Otay Mesa cargo export facility.
The officers moved the metal tanker through the port’s imaging system. It was then that they noticed anomalies throughout the tanker.
With the help of a hazardous materials team, officers removed the lead oxide from the tanker and found 301 large bundles hidden inside.
The bundles tested positive for marijuana, federal officials said. The street value of the 7,276 pounds of marijuana was estimated at almost $4 million.
The driver of the tractor pulling the tanker was identified as a 31-year-old Mexican citizen. He was taken into custody by Homeland Security Investigations.
Lead oxide is used in the manufacture of batteries, anti-rust paint and some optical glass.
Because it is harmful if inhaled or swallowed, protective clothing must be worn when it is handled.