U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly a half-ton of methamphetamine estimated to be worth more than $12 million. The smuggler allegedly concealed the drugs within a commercial shipment of frozen strawberries from Mexico.
CBP officers assigned to the Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas came upon a tractor-trailer on Saturday. Officers referred the driver to a secondary inspection station, according to CBP officials.
Officers utilized non-intrusive imaging equipment and a CBP K-9, which led to the discovery of 350 packages of apparent methamphetamine. The total weight came out to 906 pounds. The suspected drugs and tractor-trailer were seized and the driver was identified as a 42-year-old Mexican male who was handed over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation and determination of criminal charges.
“This was an outstanding interception our officers accomplished this weekend,” Port Director David Gonzalez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, said in a written statement. “Our officers’ astute sense of awareness and tenacity is unparalleled and truly commendable.”
Roughly one week prior, another half-ton of methamphetamine was seized at the same South Texas point of entry, valued at $14 million. Federal officers also seized 86 pounds of methamphetamine worth more than $1.7 million during two separate vehicle inspections at different ports of entry in Laredo, Texas.
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