For the third time this year, weed was found stashed in the trunks of brand new Ford Fusions imported from Mexico. The latest discovery happened at a car dealership in Youngstown, Ohio. According to Youngstown DEA officer Silverio Balzano, “Clearly, something went wrong” with the drug smuggling.
From July 7-11, marijuana popped up in 15 Ford Fusions across four counties in Ohio and even a dealership in Pennsylvania. The weed was tightly stored in 32-pound (14.5 kilo) half-moon shaped packages. The packages were stashed in the trunks of the cars, inside the wheel wells made to hold spare tires.
“The plant assembly employees sometimes only make $50 a week, leaving a huge window for bribery,” a source told Alpha News. “It’s not unheard of for impoverished foreign nationals to take payoffs, especially since what the cartels can pay may equal a year’s worth of wages or if they threaten the employee or their family.”
Earlier in March, packages of marijuana were also discovered in Mexican-made Ford Fusions in Dilworth, Minnesota. Officers found 14 packages, containing 217 pounds of marijuana, valued at $272,000. Providing another piece to the puzzle, Dilworth police reported the cars were transported in sealed BNSF Railway cars.
Another case, in February, came up with 80 pounds of marijuana in Ford Fusions in St. Paul, Minnesota, shipped from Mexico. The Star Tribune reported, “Each of the first two cars had 40 pounds of marijuana molded into the shape of spare tires and tucked inside plastic wrap, aluminum foil, coffee grounds and garbage bags.”
“We’re aware of the situation and are taking it very seriously,” said a Ford Motor Company spokesman. “We are working with the FBI and Customs on an extensive investigation. We have confirmed that this is not happening at our plant or at our internal shipping yards.”
The first incidence of the Ford Fusion caper happened back in May 2015. Mexican military uncovered 430 pounds of marijuana in 14 new Ford Fusions inside a rail car in Nogales, Sonora. There is no way of knowing how many marijuana-packed Ford Fusions have successfully transported marijuana to the U.S. in years since.
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