U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 2.8 tons of methamphetamine and fentanyl at a commercial border crossing in California. Officers found the deadly drugs in a shipment of plastic household items.
CBP officers assigned to the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility on August 5 observed a tractor-trailer hauling a load of plastic household items approaching from Mexico. Following an initial interview, a CBP officer referred the driver, a Mexican national, to a secondary inspection station, according to information obtained from CBP officials this week.
Additional officers carried out non-intrusive inspections utilizing an x-ray scan and found several anomalies inside the trailer, officials stated. An exterior search by a K-9 team also confirmed suspicions of the presence of drugs in the trailer.
The officers conducted a physical inspection of the trailer and found 414 packages of narcotics hidden within the cargo area. The drugs tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl, officials stated.
Officers weighed the drugs and cataloged 5,528 pounds of methamphetamine and 127 pounds of fentanyl powder. Officials estimate the value of the drugs at $12,990,749.
The officers arrested the 53-year-old Mexican national and seized the drugs and tractor-trailer.
Special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations took custody of the driver for further investigation and processing of federal drug smuggling charges. The driver is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego, California.
“This amount of fentanyl and methamphetamine is enough to ruin countless lives and fund transnational criminal organizations,” Pete Flores, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego said in a written statement. “I’m proud of our officers’ efforts at all Ports of Entry within the San Diego Field Office to intercept this and all smuggling attempts.”