Federal authorities said they stopped an effort over the weekend to smuggle 29 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. that were hidden in two wooden rocking horses.
A Customs and Border Protection officer stopped a Mexican man late Friday as he tried to walk on foot through a border checkpoint in Calexico, California, carrying the two rocking horses inside a suitcase. A drug-sniffing dog alerted the officer to the possibility of drugs.
The officer sent him to a more thorough screening, where they scanned the horses, spotted anomalies inside the wood, and decided to drill inside. They found 10 packages of cocaine, weighing 29 pounds, with an estimated street value of $377,000, CBP said.
The man Ulises Feliciano Sarabia-Barraza, admitted to agents that he knew he was carrying the drugs, according to court documents filed in the case.
He said he had been paid $2 to smuggle the cocaine across the border.
The next morning officers at the same crossing caught a man who was carrying nearly $400,000 in cash inside the panels of his 2001 Honda Accord.
And later that day, at a different crossing, officers did an inspection on a Volkswagen Passat and found the 38-year-old driver carrying 552 prescription pills in his pants pockets, while his 65-year-old female passenger had 80 Adivan pills and 120 Xanax pills concealed in her bra.