PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - More than 400 pounds of marijuana was found packed inside of new Ford cars that were made in Mexico and shipped to Northeast Ohio, officials said.
According to a press release from Portage County Sheriff David Doak, it all started when staff members from the service department of a Portage County Ford dealership noticed a suspicious package in the trunk of a brand new Ford Fusion during a delivery inspection. The car had just been taken off a transport carrier.
The Portage County Drug Task Force responded along with members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from Youngstown. They discovered that the package was pressed marijuana, 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.
Doak said the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made yet.