Drug Cartel Busted Using Fake Watermelons to Smuggle Weed Into U.S

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers stopped the driver of a tractor trailer carrying what appeared to be watermelons near Tucson, Arizona Thursday. After X-ray scanning the suspicious fruit, they found millions of dollars worth of cannabis hidden inside.

The watermelons, it turned out, weren't watermelons at all, but painted facsimiles that fell somewhere in the uncanny valley of delicious fruit replicas. The faux-melon smuggler, working for a Mexican cartel, made it into the U.S., but was stopped about 20 miles from the border.

Tucson border patrol agent Bryan Flowers told Fox News:

These criminals use a lot of unique ways to try to conceal their narcotics. We've seen individuals use false compartments in the seats and gas tanks. We've also found marijuana in tractor trailers here before.'

It wasn't the first time the fruit has been used to disguise weed. In 2008, cartels were busted bringing 5,000 pounds of pot — about $8.3 million worth — into Nogales, Ariz., hidden among actual watermelons.

[Image via Menna/Shutterstock]