OTAY MESA, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa commercial facility on March 10 discovered more than $1.3 million worth of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of fresh spinach. The narcotics were wrapped in paper and labeled with pictures of spinach.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 49-year-old Mexican citizen driving a tractor-trailer transporting a shipment manifested as fresh spinach. During the inspection, the CBP officer referred the driver to the port’s X-ray imaging system.
During the X-ray exam, CBP officers identified abnormalities within the shipment and referred the truck and trailer for a detailed inspection at the dock area. A CBP team screened the truck and trailer and a detector dog alerted to the shipment.
CBP officers searched the shipment and discovered 127 wrapped packages of methamphetamine, weighing more than 580 pounds, mixed in with the boxes of fresh spinach.
“CBP officers continue to expedite legitimate trade and travel without letting their guard down when it comes to protecting our country,” said Rosa Hernandez, port director of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. “We are aggressively combating the flow of illegal narcotics and preventing them to reach our communities.”
CBP officers turned the driver over to the custody of agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, who later transported him to the Metropolitan Correction Center in San Diego.
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics. The driver will face federal charges.
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