Imagine buying a new vehicle, running over a nail, and pulling over to exchange the now-deflated tire with the spare kept in your trunk. But once you reach the tire compartment, you don’t find a tire at all, but a large tan package of marijuana. That could have been the case for the eventual owners of 15 Ford Fusion vehicles in Ohio.
CNN reports that Drug Enforcement Agency officials in Ohio are investigating how more than $1 million worth of marijuana ended up in the tire compartment of 15 vehicles in the state.
The marijuana was first found during a vehicle inspection at a Youngstown dealership. Police then went to a nearby rail station where additional vehicles were being stored.
According the Youngstown DEA office, in all more than 400 pounds of marijuana was discovered in the spare tire compartments of the vehicles over a three-day period beginning July 7.
Each vehicle contained a 32-pound package of marijuana pressed to resemble and fit inside the car’s spare tire compartment.
DEA agent Bob Balzano tells WKBN that authorities are unsure at what point the marijuana was placed in the cars. After the Fusions were manufactured they crossed into Arizona where they were dropped off at the rail yard.
Investigators believe something went wrong along the intended supply route, as it appears someone failed to retrieve the marijuana along the rail route.
A spokesperson for Ford tells CNN that the company is aware of the situation.
“We are working with the FBI and Customs on an extensive investigation,” a rep for the carmaker said. “We have confirmed that this is not happening at our plant or at our internal shipping yards.”
A rep for the rail service that shipped the cars tells CNN that the company is providing support to the agencies investigating the incident.
CNN notes that this isn’t the first time new Ford Fusions have been used as drug mules of sorts. Back in March police in Minnesota discovered “a large quantity” of marijuana in the spare wheel space in seven vehicles.