US Customs and Border Protection seized approximately $7.2 million worth of drugs off a semitruck at the US/Mexico border in San Diego, California, on Friday. It was the second-largest methamphetamine bust at the Southwestern border in CBP’s history, according to a CBP press release.
“Smugglers will try every way possible to try and get their product across the border and because of the partnership between CBP, Homeland Security investigations and DEA this significant seizure occurred and we stopped them,” said Anne Maricich, the acting director of field operations in San Diego for US Customs and Border Protection, in the press release. “I’m proud of the CBP officers’ dedication to our mission; they continue to stop dangerous drugs from entering our communities.”
A 47-year-old male Mexican national attempted to cross the border, claiming to be transporting a shipment of medical supplies. The CBP officer decided to refer the driver and his shipment for a more extensive inspection in the Otay Mesa commercial facility.
Using X-ray-like screening equipment to evaluate the semitruck and trailer, CBP found anomalies that warranted further inspection. A K9 was deployed and hit on the boxes inside the trailer. Officers unloaded 1,816 packages of drugs that were interspersed among medical laboratory equipment such as pipettes and other testing supplies.
Hidden amid the medical supplies, CBP officers located approximately 3,014 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder, and almost 37 pounds of fentanyl pills, in all estimated to be worth approximately $7.2 million.
The driver was taken into the custody of the joint investigative team from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration to face criminal charges.
“This massive seizure is testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces – prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country; thus saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery in the press release. “DEA cherishes our great law enforcement partners in San Diego, especially those who work tirelessly to protect our nation’s borders. We will continue to work together to disrupt drug trafficking organizations at every opportunity we are given.”
CBP did not respond to requests for further information by the time of publication.