A drug task force in Ohio’s Portage County was called to a Ford dealership this week after a service department employee found a package of pressed marijuana in a spare tire compartment during a vehicle inspection.
The marijuana was packed to look like a tire and placed where the spare tire should be in the trunk. As authorities investigated, they found out that the car was shipped by train from Mexico to a rail yard in Warren. When they went to the rail yard there, they found five more marijuana packages in five new Ford Fusions. Throughout the week, investigators said they discovered nine more packages in new Fusions in Portage, Stark and Columbiana Counties and one in Pennsylvania.
All the cars were manufactured in Mexico, crossed over the border in Arizona and then were taken by train to the same rail yard in Warren. All had their spare tire removed and replaced with the same tire-shaped marijuana package. In total, over 400 pounds of marijuana was seized, and the the street value is more than $1 million.
In March, police in Dilworth, Minnesota, also discovered drugs packed in Ford Fusions manufactured in Mexico. According to a release posted on the department’s Facebook page, police recovered “a large quantity of marijuana packaged in the trunk of seven vehicles where the spare wheel should be.”
Dilworth police said the cars were transported in sealed BNSF Railway cars.
“We’re aware of the situation and are taking it very seriously,” a Ford Motor Company spokesman said Saturday. “We are working with the FBI and Customs on an extensive investigation. We have confirmed that this is not happening at our plant or at our internal shipping yards.”