The second-largest methamphetamine bust along the southwest border was announced on Sunday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
CBP officers seized more than 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl powder, fentanyl pills and heroin at the Otay Mesa facility on Friday.
About 9:45 a.m. Friday, a driver arrived at the cargo border crossing with a tractor-trailer shipment carrying medical supplies, according to the CBP. The officer decided to refer the driver, truck and shipment for a more intensive inspection.
CBP officers screened the truck using the port's imaging system, similar to an x-ray, and found anomalies with the rear of the trailer. The trailer was sent to the dock and a canine alerted to the boxes inside.
Officers offloaded the shipment and discovered 1,816 packages co-mingled with the medical supplies that primarily contained clear plastic pipette tips, spray bottles of surface decontaminate and calibrated pipette tools, used for sampling and dispensing liquid. They extracted approximately 3,014 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder and almost 37 pounds of fentanyl pills, worth an estimated $7.2 million.
“This massive seizure is testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces -- prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country, thus saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,'' said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.
The driver, a 47-year-old Mexican citizen, was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“This significant seizure is a prime example of how a successful partnership between HSI, CBP and DEA results in the disruption of transnational criminal organizations while protecting our country from dangerous illicit drugs,” said Juan Munoz, acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI in San Diego.