SAN DIEGO (AP) – Authorities seized nearly USD3 million worth of methamphetamine, hidden among a shipment of onions, during a tractor-trailer’s inspection at federal facility in San Diego, officials announced on Friday.
A K-9 unit for the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) alerted to the trailer’s shipment of onions last Sunday and officers found nearly 1,200 small packages of meth, the agency said in a news release.
The 46-year-old driver, a Mexican national who was not named, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry commercial vehicle facility, officials said.
The packages of meth – more than 1,336 pounds – were shaped into small globes with a white covering, the agency said, and meant to blend into the onions.
The drugs are estimated to be worth USD2.9 million on the street.
“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions,” said CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego Sidney Aki in the news release.
“While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”