If you bought a new car recently, especially a Ford Fusion, it’s in your best interest to make sure you received a spare tire and not a cleverly disguised package of drugs. Earlier this month, multiple dealerships in Ohio discovered more than 400 pounds of marijuana spread amongst 15 cars, with one “fully loaded” vehicle even popping up in Philadelphia. Although this was a first in recent history for Ohio, similar seizures were reported earlier this year in Minnesota and Arizona. This begs the question for authorities to determine where the drugs came from and why they ended up at dealerships instead of being removed from the vehicles by the intended recipients.
One common thread across all the similar cases is that the vehicles were manufactured in Mexico, more specifically, Hermosillo, Senora, which happens to be in the territory of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Ford Motor Companies has been more than compliant with investigations, and they have been quick to assure the public that the illegal act is not taking place in their internal shipping yards or originating at the plant itself. Of course, the process of transporting a vehicle from Mexico to a dealership in the United States is a lengthy and involved one, so there are quite a few places along the route something of this magnitude could occur.
The transportation company, CSX, tasked with the majority of Ford’s Mexican exports is also complying completely with the DEA and Customs in an effort to help pinpoint where exactly the spare tires are being removed and replaced with drugs. The current popular theory is that the original switch is occurring south of the border in an attempt to transport the drugs into the United States. If, however, the marijuana is consistently arriving at the dealerships, there is an obvious flaw in the export operation that is preventing the recipients from acquiring their illegal cargo. Now that a clear pattern has been established, it is only a matter of time before authorities will determine the origin of the drugs, and hopefully put an end to this illegal, and thus far unsuccessful, smuggling operation.
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