A U.S. teenager living in Tijuana is in the custody of the federal government and facing prison time and $1,000,000 fine for the cargo found hidden in a vehicle he was driving across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cristian Araujo Aguirre, 19, was arrested Wednesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, south of San Diego.
U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers say they found 11,490 fentanyl pills, 61 pounds of methamphetamine and 14 pounds of heroin inside the vehicle Aguirre was driving.
The heroin was hidden in the firewall and the methamphetamine packages were in the doors and a quarter panel, officers said.
Two bags and the box of pills found in a hidden storage compartment were designed to look like oxycodone, complete with the M30 marking on the pills.
However, officers say the pills tested positive for fentanyl.
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful and deadly than morphine, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Aguirre has made one appearance in San Diego's federal court and prosecutors requested that he be held in custody based on flight risk.
His detention hearing is scheduled for August 7.
A 31-year-old man pleaded guilty in June to selling the substance that led to a Poway man's death.
It was the first death connected to fentanyl to be prosecuted by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
San Diego police say their crime lab was experiencing such an increase in opioids, they had to outfit it with new equipment to keep lab technicians safe.