Border Patrol officers just made a big drug bust at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing. On November 28, 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 11 pounds of marijuana in a cargo shipment. They had selected the commercial shipment that was manifested as a “Puzzle Activity Box” for examination. When officers inspected the box they discovered 10 vacuum-sealed packages that contained what appeared to be marijuana. A field test confirmed the properties of marijuana. The packages have an estimated street value of more than $30,000.

Does this bust make the top 10 drug busts at ports in Buffalo? It's not even close to the 10th biggest drug bust, nevertheless the 1st.

Here are 10 of the biggest drug busts over the past 5 years:

10. 257 pounds - Marijuana
August 9, 2019 - Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency seized 257 pounds of marijuana. The cannabis was hidden in boxes, which was presented as a commercial shipment.

9. 530 Pounds - Marijuana
August 6, 2020 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, assisted by a K-9 officer, discovered 530 pounds of marijuana in commercial shipments, which were listed as Numerical Control Machines. The seizure took place at the Peace Bridge / Port of Buffalo. The street value of the weed was estimated at $2 million.

8. 655 Pounds - Marijuana
March 11, 2021 - Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility / Port of Buffalo found 655 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of more than $1.3 million dollars, in a commercial shipment. The manifest said the load was “empty plastic bottles.”

7. 936 pounds - Marijuana
On January 20, 2021, Border Patrol officers at the Lewiston Cargo Facility / Port of Buffalo seized 936 pounds of cannabis. The shipment was listed as phone accessories, but in reality, it was 840 packages of marijuana. The estimated street value of the weed was $1.9 million.

6. 1070 pounds - Marijuana
February 1, 2021 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Lewiston Cargo Facility / Port of Buffalo seized 1070 pounds of marijuana. A canine officer aided in the discovery of the weed, which was manifested as cardboard in a commercial shipment. Agents found 973 packages of marijuana worth more than $2.1 million dollars on the street.

5. 1,227 pounds - Marijuana
March 26, 2021 - Border Patrol Agents at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility / Port of Buffalo found 1,227 pounds of marijuana in a commercial shipment with a manifest stating it was carrying paper towels and dishwasher detergent. The seizure had a street value estimated at over $2.4 million dollars.

4. 2,554 pounds - Marijuana
October 20, 2021 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 2,554 pounds of marijuana in a commercial shipment that was manifested as “bathroom vanities.” A truck and trailer were sent for further examination, which showed some discrepancies. CBP officers performed a physical inspection and found vacuum-sealed marijuana packages hidden within the pallet shipment boxes. The marijuana had an estimated street value of $5 million dollars.

3. 3,000 pounds - Marijuana
June 2021 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection working at the Lewiston Bridge / Port of Buffalo seized more than 3,000 pounds of cannabis. The marijuana was listed on the tractor-trailer's manifest as "paper." 1,275 packages, with an estimated street value of $2.8 million dollars, were discovered. Earlier in the week, officers found 1,663 pounds of marijuana, bringing the total to more than $3,000 pounds, with a value of $6 million.

2. 3,836 pounds - Marijuana
August 10, 2020 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized almost two tons of marijuana at the Peace Bridge / Port of Buffalo. The weed was hidden in cardboard boxes. The 3,836 pounds of marijuana had a street value of more than $8 million dollars.

1. 9,472 pounds - Marijuana
June 25, 2020 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers became suspicious of a tractor-trailer at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility. Officers discovered 9,472 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle, which was driven by a 26-year-old man who was a citizen of India and a Permanent Resident of Canada. The seizure set a record,

This is the largest narcotics seizure recorded on the northern border and ranks 23rd in the United States, for a period covering the last 5-years.

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Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell

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