Officers say illicit drugs hidden inside shipment of legitimate medical equipment
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility intercept a massive shipment of methamphetamine.
Officers say it started when they targeted a big rig for random inspection. The truck, its driver, and shipment were sent to x-ray screening. The manifest listed the cargo as medical supplies, but officers say the scan revealed anomalies that raises suspicions. They say that's when they brought in drug-sniffing dog to check out the trailer.
Officers say the canine zeroed in on one particular pallet. They say further investigation revealed it held some 120 packets of white powder intermingled with boxes of legitimate medical supplies.
CBP says the powder tested positive as methamphetamine. Officers say there was nearly 2,500 pounds of the drug in the shipment. The meth has an estimated street value of more than $5.5 million.
“Most of what CBP officers see every day is legitimate travelers and legitimate cargo that needs to speed its way into the U.S. as a critical part of our economy.” said Anne Maricich, acting CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “But CBP officers know that we must remain vigilant; transnational criminal organizations will attempt any avenue they can think of to try and smuggle their illicit drugs into the U.S.”
CBP seized the truck and the drugs. It turned over the driver, a 29-year-old Mexican national, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for federal prosecution.