CBP - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

03/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/14/2024 14:59

CBP officers seize millions worth of methamphetamine at Otay Mesa Cargo Facility

CBP officers seize millions worth of methamphetamine at Otay Mesa Cargo Facility

Release Date
Thu, 03/14/2024
For More Information
(202) 344-1780

OTAY MESA, Calif., - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility discovered millions of dollars' worth of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of peppers and tomatillos.

On Tuesday, at approximately 7:30 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 27-year-old male driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested for peppers and tomatillos. The driver, a valid border crossing card holder, was referred for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor-trailer and shipment.

At first glance, the shipment appears to contain only products identified in the shipping manifest.

In the secondary inspection area, a CBP K-9 unit screened the shipment and alerted officers to examine the trailer more closely. Upon further examination, a CBP agriculture specialist discovered a box within the shipment containing a crystal-like substance.

As a CBP agricultural specialist examined the contents of a single shipping box, they discovered a substance matching the characteristics of methamphetamine.

CBP officers were radioed for further assistance and extracted a total of 3,594 packages from the shipment of peppers and tomatillos. The contents of the packages were tested and identified as methamphetamine with a weight of 3,671.58 pounds.

CBP officers more thoroughly examined the entire shipment and extracted 3,671.58 pounds of highly addictive methamphetamine.

All CBP components are vital assets to our counternarcotics operations, providing proficient and layered detection capabilities," said Rosa E. Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. "Our staff is dedicated to our mission and will continue to strengthen our ability to protect our communities and to curb the growth of transnational criminal organizations by applying officer's skills and tools in our layered enforcement approach".

CBP officers seized the narcotics and commercial tractor-trailer while the driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo. Operation Apollo is a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl and other illicit synthetic narcotics. More information about Operation Apollo can be found here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation's borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.

Last Modified: Mar 14, 2024