Authorities seize almost $3M worth of meth disguised as onions in California

This photograph reveals the Otay Mesa industrial facility the place authorities found nearly 1,200 small packages of methamphetamine hidden inside a cargo of onions on Feb. 13. (U.S. Customs and Border Safety through AP)

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OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Safety officers have seized almost $3 million price of methamphetamine hidden in small packages inside a cargo of onions at a industrial facility in San Diego, the company mentioned.

Federal officers on the Otay Mesa port-of-entry facility final Sunday encountered a 46-year-old man who was driving a tractor trailer containing a big cargo “manifested as onions,” Customs and Border Safety introduced in a information launch Friday.

Throughout an preliminary inspection of the car, one officer directed the motive force and cargo to a extra intensive examination performed by the company’s Okay-9 staff, the discharge mentioned.

One of many detector canines alerted officers to the cargo, who found 1,197 packages of meth — roughly 1,336 kilos — price an estimated avenue worth of $2.9 million, in keeping with Customs and Border Safety.

The packages, which had been combined with the onion cargo in sacks, “had been formed into small globes with a white overlaying, designed to mix into the onions they had been hidden with,” the discharge mentioned.

Officers arrested the motive force, an unidentified Mexico citizen, for the alleged narcotic smuggling try and turned him over to the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Safety Investigations for “additional disposition,” in keeping with Customs and Border Safety. In addition they seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics, the company mentioned.

“This was not solely a intelligent try and try to smuggle in narcotics, one I have not seen earlier than, but in addition time-consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to appear like onions,” mentioned Sidney Aki, Customs and Border Safety director of subject operations in San Diego.

“These efforts present how efficient our officers are, and as a response, the lengths drug trafficking organizations are prepared to go to as they attempt to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.,” the assertion continued. “Whereas now we have actually seen narcotics in produce earlier than, it is uncommon for us to see this degree of element within the concealment.”

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