Officers seized nearly $3 million worth of methamphetamine from a semi truck in California last weekend.
The seizure was made on February 20th at around 1 p.m. at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in California.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, a 46-year-old truck driver entered the checkpoint with a shipment manifested as onions and was referred for a more intensive examination. During that exam, a Customs and Border Protection canine team searched the truck and the dog alerted to potential contraband within the shipment.
Officers then searched the load and discovered 1,197 onion shaped, white packages of methamphetamine mixed in with the onions. The spherical, while packages of contraband had been packaged to blend in with the shipment. Approximately 1,336 pounds of methamphetamine were discovered amongst the onions – an estimated street value of around $2.9 million.
“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “These efforts show how effective our officers are, and as a response, the lengths drug trafficking organizations are willing to go to as they try to smuggle narcotics into the U.S. While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”
The unnamed, Mexican-national truck driver was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) for further disposition.