CBP: $435K worth of cocaine hidden in joint cement, found in boxes in car at Columbus port


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COLUMBUS, New Mexico — Federal authorities say nearly 14 pounds of cocaine has been seized at the Columbus port of entry in New Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers asked if the driver of a car was transporting anything from Mexico. The driver said he was importing two boxes of joint cement.

Officers noticed an anomaly in the appearance of the packaging and that led to an exam.

While searching the cement, officers discovered a black wrapped package submerged in the cement.

Officers removed five bundles from the two boxes and authorities say the contents tested positive for cocaine.

The 13.6 pounds had an estimated value of $435,000.

The car's driver — 60-year-old Oscar D. Stella, of Las Cruces — was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents.

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