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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted a massive drug shipment of methamphetamine in California exceeding a street value of $18 million and hidden inside a truck full of vegetables

In the early morning hours on Monday, May 20th, at around 6:47 AM, California CBP officers stationed at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility intercepted a tractor-trailer driven by a 44-year-old man. When officers looked inside the vehicle, they found a large shipment of squash, tomatoes, and peppers. Although the man had a valid card to cross the border, CBP referred him and his tractor-trailer “for further examination,” according to a statement about the seizure published on Wednesday, May 22nd.

The CBP proceeded to use a “secondary, non-intrusive scanning technology” to scan the vehicle and its cargo more completely, which detected “irregularities.” Inspectors then called in a detection dog to smell the vehicle and its cargo, which “responded and alerted officers to the presence of narcotics.” Officers uncovered 1,419 bundles of methamphetamine hidden inside the squash shipment, weighing approximately 11,469 pounds (about six tons) and amounting to roughly $18,350,400 if sold on the streets.

Rosa E. Hernandez, Director of the Otay Mesa Area Port, praised the CBP for their “commitment to duty, excellence,” and keeping the nation safe. She called the drug bust “an outstanding display of effectiveness” in the battle against narcotics imports. Hernandez called the officers’ efforts “exceptional.”

The CBP attributed the seizures to Operation Apollo, a “holistic” effort to counter the rise of fentanyl imports, which started in California last year in October and has since expanded to Arizona. The program is focused on gathering intelligence and forming partnerships between local CBP officers and territorial, local, state, and federal partners to combine resources to stop fentanyl smuggling.

The man driving the meth shipment was promptly arrested, and his truck and cargo were seized. Homeland Security Investigation currently has the suspect in custody for further questioning.

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