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Feds Seize 9 Tons Of Pot, Arrest 7 In Drug Smuggling Attempt

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(credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

(credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

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SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Authorities say seven people are facing federal charges of drug smuggling following the discovery of over nine tons of marijuana this week.

A news release issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that the massive find was made Tuesday inside a big-rig truck at the Otay Mesa border crossing.

Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly conducted an inspection of the truck and an X-ray search which uncovered hundreds of bricks of marijuana with a street value of over $13 million, authorities said.

Seven suspects were subsequently arrested.

Agents from ICE identified them as 20-year-old Cristian Bajoner of San Diego; 29-year-old Victor Hernandez of Tijuana; 47-year-old Francisco Javier Peinado of Tijuana; 19-year-old Jonathan Peinado of Chula Vista; 45-year-old Heriberto Peinado-Covarrubias of Tijuana; 19-year-old Dahir Alan Peinado-Leyva of Tijuana and 21-year-old Jorge Manuel Zamora-Ponce also of Tijuana.

Officials say the suspects were arraigned in federal court Wednesday.

An investigation is ongoing.

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