San Diego

Meth Seizures Along U.S.-Mexico Border on the Rise in San Diego

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 97 percent of methamphetamine seizures take place along the southwestern U.S. border.

At the border south of San Diego, meth seizures by CBP officers are on the rise.

CBP San Ysidro Port of Entry Director Sidney Aki spoke with NBC 7 Investigates about how his team finds contraband.

Aki explains while his team gets better at catching smuggled meth, they're battling groups who are also quickly changing their tactics.

“The smuggling organizations are getting smarter and smarter,” said Director Aki. “Once we start hitting up or intercepting a lot of floor loads they change up their stance they go to the rear tires, they go to the roof load, or go to a spare tire.”

Drug Enforcement Agency data shows meth seizures are on the rise by 62 percent along the San Diego County border.

The world's busiest land border crossing sees more than 100,000 people daily. 

Aki said the bigger the port, the more chances agents will find meth hidden in vehicles or on travelers. 

“We have to be fast, nimble and flexible to ensure we can keep up with everyone,” said Aki.

The number of meth-related cases filed in San Diego has grown over 700 percent. NBC 7’s Steven Luke has more on how these files shine a light on the cartels’ recruitment process.
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