U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had its second-largest meth bust along the southwest border in the agency's history on Friday.
The bust happened on Oct. 9, around 9:45 a.m. local time at the Otay Mesa commercial facility in California. A driver of a tractor-trailer entered the cargo border crossing carrying a reported shipment of medical supplies. An officer referred the driver and the cargo for further inspection.
The tractor-trailer was scanned by the port's imaging system, which found anomalies around the rear of the vehicle. A canine then alerted officers to boxes inside the trailer. Officers offloaded the shipment and found 1,816 packages co-mingled with medical supplies. The packages contained approximately 3,014 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder, and 37 pounds of fentanyl pills. The narcotics carry an estimated street value of around $7.2 million.
"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," Anne Maricich, acting CBP director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement. "I’m proud of the CBP officers’ dedication to our mission; they continue to stop dangerous drugs from entering our communities."
The driver, a 47-year-old male Mexican citizen, was placed under arrest pending criminal charges.
In Jan. 2019, Border Patrol agents in Arizona confiscated over 250 pounds of deadly fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid. It was the largest fentanyl bust in CBP's history. The drugs carried an estimated street value of $3.5 million and had the potential to kill 56 million Americans.