Border patrol agents in California, Texas seize meth concealed in tractor-trailers

Border patrol agents in California, Texas seize meth concealed in tractor-trailers
These packages, hidden in a commercial shipment of fresh tomatoes, contain 1,853 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $37 million. The discovery was made at the Pharr International Bridge in Pharr, Texas, on Dec. 19. (Courtesy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

NILAND, Calif., and PHARR, Texas — In two separate actions on Dec. 19, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in California’s El Centro Sector and at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas seized methamphetamine concealed in commercial tractor-trailers.

At about 5:06 p.m., a man driving a red Freightliner tractor-trailer approached California’s Highway 111 border patrol checkpoint. Agents directed the vehicle aside for further investigation.

During the inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 detection team alerted agents’ attention to the semi-truck. Both the driver- and passenger-side fuel tanks were visually inspected, and the liquid inside looked clear. Agents then noticed a cloudy, denser liquid a few inches below the clear liquid. A field narcotic testing kit was used on the cloudy liquid, which yielded a positive result for the characteristics of methamphetamine. Agents were unable to determine the weight of narcotics due to the volatile and dangerous state of the liquid meth.

CBP Meth in Gas Tank
Also on Dec. 19, agents with California’s El Centro Sector found liquid methamphetamine concealed in the fuel tank of a Freightliner. (Courtesy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The El Centro Sector turned over the driver, a 25-year-old lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and the semi-truck containing the narcotics to the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

At the Pharr International Bridge in Texas, agents discovered $37 million worth of alleged methamphetamine when a tractor-trailer hauling a shipment of fresh tomatoes was referred for a secondary inspection, which included a nonintrusive imaging scan. Agents ultimately discover 657 packages weighing 1,853 pounds (840.5 kg) of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the trailer’s floor.

CBP OFO seized the narcotics and the tractor-trailer; the case is under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.

“This interception of methamphetamines is certainly on the list of the more significant drug seizures for the Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas and will definitely impact this type of illicit activity,” said Carlos Rodriguez, port director.

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Border patrol agents in California, Texas seize meth concealed in tractor-trailers