Officers with  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently discovered millions worth of illegal hard narcotics hidden within a shipment of heavy machinery gears.

The drug bust occurred shortly after 9 a.m. on August 6, 2022, at the Otay Mesa commercial facility in San Diego, California.

According to CBP, a 37 year old driving a 2009 Freightliner truck attempted to enter the U.S. after showing a valid Border Crossing card.

The truck’s manifest listed the shipment as heavy machinery gears.

After the vehicle was screened by a canine unit, the dog alerted to one of the mechanical gears in the shipment.

“CBP officers conducted an intensive, physical inspection and noticed that one of the gears appeared to have inconsistent work done when compared to the other gears. CBP officers further inspected the gear, removing and seizing 362 packages of cocaine, weighing 870.78 pounds, and 18 packages containing fentanyl, weighing 41.75 pounds, from inside the heavy machinery,” CBP said in a news release.

The estimated street value of the seized drugs is $12.8 million.

CBP seized the drugs, truck, and trailer.

The truck driver was handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for processing.

“No matter the size of the conveyance and concealing method smugglers attempt to use, our officers are keen at discovering even the most minuscule inconsistencies,” said Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in San Diego.  “Our officers will continue to prevent these deadly drugs from crossing our borders.”

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