U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced that officers at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered 2.8 tons of methamphetamine and fentanyl powder hidden in a shipment of household articles — calling it the largest methamphetamine drug-smuggling seizure along the southwest border to date.
According to a CBP announcement Tuesday, the find occurred last Thursday.
The announcement said that, at about 5:24 p.m., officers encountered the driver of a tractor-trailer hauling a shipment of plastic household articles. During an inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver, along with the shipment, for an intensive examination.
The CBP said a canine team confirmed the presence of narcotics concealed inside boxes loaded in the truck. Officers removed 5,528 pounds of methamphetamine and 127 pounds of fentanyl powder in 414 packages, the CBP said.
The estimated value of the drugs is more than $12.9 million, the CBP said.
The truck’s driver, a 53-year-old Mexican man, was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he awaits federal charges, the CBP said.
“This amount of fentanyl and methamphetamine is enough to ruin countless lives and fund transnational criminal organizations,” said Pete Flores, CBP’s director of San Diego Field Operations. “I’m proud of our officers’ efforts at all ports of entry within the San Diego Field Office to intercept this and all smuggling attempts.”