A pallet of cacti, a spare tire, and what seemed to be a cargo of limes. That was the Trojan Horse carrying greater than $61 million value of narcotics seized by border officers in what was a busy weekend in southern California.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that the would-be drug cargo was intercepted on Friday on the ports of entry in San Diego and Imperial Valley counties, a haul that included 668 kilos of methamphetamine, almost 15,000 kilos of marijuana, in addition to fentanyl and heroin.
The bust occurred round eight a.m., when “a tractor-trailer arrived at the Otay Mesa cargo facility with a shipment manifested as cactus,” prompting CBP officers to refer the automobile for “intensive inspection.”
A canine workforce was then drawn to a pallet of cactus, inside of which officers discovered “packages, wrapped with green tape, hidden inside among the pads…containing about 668 pounds of methamphetamine.,” which the company stated carries a avenue worth of greater than $1.5 million.
The officers’ day wasn’t completed. That night, a unique tractor-trailer arrived on the similar crossing carrying a quantity of giant containers, inside of which CBP officers found “tape-wrapped packages…manifested as limes.” The ersatz lime cargo was in reality “622 large, tape-wrapped packages…containing 14,880 pounds of marijuana,” with a avenue worth of almost $60 million.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, officers stopped a automobile coming into on the Calexico port of entry. With the help of a canine workforce once more, the CBP discovered a spare tire contained in the automobile carrying “one package of fentanyl with a weight of 2.43 pounds, one package of heroin with a weight of 2.56 pounds, and 41 packages of methamphetamine with a weight of 67.20 pounds,” all with a avenue worth of roughly $125,000.
The driver of that automobile, a 35-year-old male United States citizen, was taken into custody.
“International drug trafficking organizations will use whatever means they can think of to try and move their illicit shipments into the U.S.,” stated Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “CBP officers dedicate their careers to protecting our country by securing the border. For them, these unusual seizures are all in a day’s work.”
Other Recent Busts
The subterfuge employed by the would-be traffickers calls to thoughts a bust final summer time on the Otay Mesa port of entry close to the border between San Diego and Tijuana. Then, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted virtually 4 tons of marijuana being carried in “a tractor pulling a trailer with cargo manifested as jalapeño peppers.” Officers on the scene, with the help of a canine unit, discovered 300 giant wrapped packages of marijuana clocking in at 7,560 kilos—with a avenue worth of greater than $2 million—ensconced amongst a number of pallets of the peppers.
There’s lots of motion alongside the northern border, too. Late final month, the CBP stopped a Canadian man driving a industrial tractor trailer who stated he was transporting articles of cement; in reality, he was hauling 2,959 kilos of marijuana.