Border Patrol seize drugs packed in pepper cans

May 9, 2006

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - U.S. Border Patrol agents have turned up an estimated $338,000 worth of marijuana hidden in jalapeno pepper cans.

The agents found the drugs during a weekend inspection at a checkpoint along Interstate 25 near Las Cruces. They had stopped two women and decided to search their sport utility vehicle after they began acting unusual.

The women were arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with their SUV and the 422 pounds of marijuana. The drugs had been vacuum-packed and stashed inside 96 jalapeno pepper cans.

During this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents in the El Paso Sector _ which includes New Mexico's southern border _ have made 712 drug seizures valued at more than $14 million.