Mexican Federal Police seized 550 pounds of methamphetamine Wednesday, adding to the number of significant busts in the last 30 days throughout the northern border region of Baja California.
The most recent seizure took place on September 12 at approximately 4:25 pm, when the State Preventative Police (PEP) of Baja California and the Federal Police (PF) responded the Central de Abastos Los Álamos neighborhood in Tijuana to check on a lead regarding drugs stored in a warehouse. Investigators observed a male standing next to a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta parked in front of the location in question. Officials noticed the male was holding a transparent bag consistent with the type to store drugs. When the male realized he was being watched, he attempted to flee on foot but was captured a short distance away, according to local media. The suspect was later identified as José Miguel “N,” 36, from Navolato, Sinaloa.
Upon returning to the vehicle, investigators inspected the interior and found numerous plastic bags containing a substance believed to be methamphetamine. Further probing produced boxes containing more filled bags for a total weight of 550 pounds. Police then entered the storage facility and discovered more apparent contraband. The Mexican Navy (SEMAR) was alerted to provide security while a search warrant was secured for the entire storage facility.
The value of the seizure was estimated at approximately $125 million pesos or $6.6 million USD. The figure would increase once the load reached the U.S. drug market, according to a PEP spokesperson.
This seizure was the sixth in northern Baja California over the past month.
The Mexican Army made two seizures in Ensenada on August 17 (1,036 pounds of meth, heroin, and fentanyl) and August 18 (1,653 pounds of meth, fentanyl, and marijuana).
The Mexican Army discovered an active drug lab on August 25 in Tecate and seized four tons of methamphetamine.
The Mexican Federal Police seized 350 pounds of methamphetamine in an active drug lab in Tijuana on August 26.
The Mexican Federal Police seized 20,000 fentanyl pills in an active lab in Mexicali on September 10.
Additionally, the U.S. Border Patrol made two significant seizures in San Ysidro on August 1 (11,490 fentanyl pills, 61 pounds of meth, and 14 pounds of heroin) and August 9 (20,000 fentanyl pills).
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org