“Clearly, something went wrong,” said Silverio Balzano, the director of the DEA’s office in Youngstown, Ohio. “Generally speaking, they could take it off anywhere else along the way.”
It seems that someone bungled a pickup of approximately $1 million worth of cannabis. The pot was carefully packaged in half-moons meant to fit inside the wheel-wells meant for spare tires, and found in a few different places. Some were discovered in the trunks of cars at dealerships in Phoenix, Arizona, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A Minnesota truck driver shipping some of the new vehicles tipped off police. Some cars were even sold to unsuspecting customers: one 86-year old Minnesota man was alarmed when police asked to look in his 2017 Ford Fusion and found over $300,000 worth of cannabis under the carpet in the back of his new car.
All of the vehicles found with junk in their trunks could be sourced back to a Ford plant in Sonora, Mexico, just across the border from Arizona and New Mexico. Ford has already done a thorough investigation and determined that the pot didn’t originate in their plant or internal shipping yards: and CSX, who shipped the cars into the US, has said that they’re cooperating to the best of their ability with the investigation.
While it isn’t clear where the pot was loaded into the cars, it is clear that whoever was supposed to receive the cargo didn’t manage to pick it up: law enforcement, as far as we’re aware, doesn’t know who was doing the packing, who was supposed to be receiving, and doesn’t know if these are just a small portion of shipments or just a one-off that didn’t get picked up. Though dealerships will likely take a better look at the wheel wells in their new cars, it’s worth it to give a look in a new car. Who knows what you’ll find.