560 Pounds of Meth, Cocaine Found in Quartz Boulders at California Border

CBP officers seized a large quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine hidden in large quartz boulders at a California border crossing in September 2020. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers disrupted a unique drug smuggling operation by finding cocaine and methamphetamine hidden in large boulders of quartz. Smugglers hid 229 packages of drugs inside the boulders and cemented them back together.

CBP officers assigned to the Tecate cargo crossing on September 14 observed a tractor-trailer approaching for entry into the United States. The driver presented a manifest indicating a load of beach pebbles and stones, according to information obtained from CBP officials.

During the initial inspection, officers noted discrepancies and referred the driver to a secondary inspection area. A CBP K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs in multiple large quartz boulders. The officers searched through the shipment of rocks and eventually had to break open the boulders.

Inside, the officers found 229 packages of drugs. Officers tested the drugs and determined the packages contained methamphetamine and cocaine.

After collecting and separating the packages, the officers weighed them and listed the weights as 337 pounds of methamphetamine and 223 pounds of cocaine. Officials estimate the combined value of the seized shipment to be nearly $3.9 million.

“Hard to believe, but this isn’t the first time CBP officers in California have had to actually break open rocks or other items to get at the narcotics that drug trafficking organizations have hidden inside,” said Jose Haro, officer in charge of the Tecate port of entry, in a written statement. “Our officers are well-trained to notice discrepancies to stop drug shipments like this from making their way into our communities.”

CBP officers seized the drugs, tractor-trailer, and shipment. Officials did not disclose the disposition of the driver or his nationality.

During the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2020, CBP officers seized more than 19,000 pounds of methamphetamine and nearly 14,000 pounds of cocaine at ports of entry around the nation. Both represent substantial increases in seizures over the same period in FY19, according to reports obtained from CBP officials.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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