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)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

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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Putin urges Ukraine’s army to seize power as Kyiv prepares for assault

Servicemen of the Ukrainian Nationwide Guard take positions in central Kyiv, Ukraine on Friday. Authorities instructed individuals to arrange petrol bombs to defend Ukraine’s capital on Friday, because the mayor stated “saboteurs” had entered the town and have been combating within the outskirts.

(Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukraine’s army on Friday to overthrow their political leaders and negotiate peace, whereas authorities in Kyiv urged residents to assist defend the capital as Russian forces superior.

The town’s residents have been instructed by the protection ministry to make petrol bombs to repel the invaders, and on Friday night witnesses reported listening to artillery rounds and intense gunfire from the western a part of the town. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy filmed himself with aides on the streets of the capital, vowing to defend Ukraine’s independence.

Some households cowered in shelters after Kyiv was pounded for a second evening by Russian missiles. Others tried desperately to get on packed trains headed west, among the tons of of 1000’s who’ve left their properties to search out security, in line with the United Nations’ help chief.

After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Putin unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south on Thursday, in an assault that threatened to upend Europe’s post-Chilly Struggle order.

“I as soon as once more attraction to the army personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine: Don’t permit neo-Nazis and (Ukrainian radical nationalists) to make use of your kids, wives and elders as human shields,” Putin stated at a televised assembly with Russia’s Safety Council on Friday. “Take energy into your individual palms, it is going to be simpler for us to achieve settlement.”

Putin says he doesn’t plan a army occupation, solely to disarm Ukraine and take away its leaders, alluding to Ukrainian far-right nationalists who collaborated with Nazi invaders in World Struggle Two to battle Soviet Russia. However it isn’t clear how a pro-Russian chief could possibly be put in until Russian troops management a lot of the nation.

Moscow stated it had captured the Hostomel airfield northwest of the capital — a possible staging publish for an assault on Kyiv that has been fought over since Russian paratroopers landed there within the first hours of the battle. This might not be confirmed and the Ukrainian authorities reported heavy combating there.

“Photographs and explosions are ringing out in some neighborhoods. Saboteurs have already entered Kyiv,” stated the mayor of the town of three million, former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko. “The enemy desires to place the capital on its knees and destroy us.”

A woman walks around the wreckage of an unidentified aircraft that crashed into a house in a residential area in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday.
A girl walks across the wreckage of an unidentified plane that crashed right into a home in a residential space in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday. (Photograph: Umit Bektas, Reuters)

‘Glory to our defenders’

Amid the chaos of battle, an image of what was occurring on the bottom throughout the nation — the second largest in Europe after Russia itself — was gradual to emerge.

Zelenskyy tweeted that there had been heavy combating with deaths on the entrance to the jap cities of Chernihiv and Melitopol, in addition to at Hostomel.

“Glory to our defenders, each female and male, glory to Ukraine,” he stated, flanked by the prime minister and advisors in a video posted to verify he was within the capital.

Witnesses stated loud explosions and gunfire is also heard close to the airport in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second metropolis, near Russia’s border, and air raid sirens sounded over Lviv within the west. Ukraine’s army stated Russian troops had been stopped with heavy losses close to the northeastern metropolis of Konotop.

Britain’s protection ministry stated Russian armored forces had opened a brand new route of advance towards the capital after failing to take Chernihiv.

Ukraine stated greater than 1,000 Russian troopers had been killed thus far. Russia didn’t launch casualty figures.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart and condemned studies of mounting civilian deaths, together with these of Ukrainian kids, attributable to assaults round Kyiv, the State Division stated.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a information briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday. (Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout through Reuters)

United Nations help chief Martin Griffiths stated tons of of 1000’s of individuals have been on the transfer in Ukraine, including that “north of a billion {dollars}” could be wanted for reduction operations within the subsequent three months.

Ukraine has banned males of combating age from leaving, and at borders with Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, these seen crossing by Reuters journalists have been largely ladies and kids.

Girls cried as they bade goodbye to male family members and crossed into Romania.

The 27 members of the European Union agreed to freeze any property within the bloc belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Britain adopted go well with.

Quite a few Western nations have introduced new sanctions on Russia, together with blacklisting its banks and banning expertise imports. However they’ve thus far stopped wanting forcing it out of the SWIFT system for worldwide financial institution funds, drawing criticism from Kyiv.

On Friday, European soccer’s governing physique moved Might’s high-profile Champions League closing from St Petersburg to Paris, and Method One canceled this 12 months’s Russian Grand Prix. The European Broadcasting Union shut Russia out of the broadly watched Eurovision Tune Contest for 2022.

U.S. officers imagine Russia’s preliminary goal is to “decapitate” Zelenskyy’s authorities.

Putin says Ukraine, a democratic nation of 44 million individuals, is an illegitimate state carved out of Russia, a view Ukrainians see as geared toward erasing their greater than one-thousand-year historical past.

Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence on the fall of the Soviet Union and Kyiv hopes to hitch NATO and the EU — aspirations that infuriate Moscow.

As air raid sirens wailed over Kyiv for a second day, some residents sheltered in underground metro stations.

Home windows have been blasted out of a 10-story residence block close to the principle airport. A two-meter crater confirmed the place a shell had struck earlier than daybreak.

“How can we be residing by way of this in our time? Putin ought to burn … alongside together with his entire household,” stated Oxana Gulenko, sweeping damaged glass from her room.

Tons of crowded right into a cramped bomb shelter beneath one constructing after a televised warning of airstrikes.

“How will you wage a battle in opposition to peaceable individuals?” stated Viktoria, 35, as her kids aged 5 and seven slept of their winter coats.

Hundreds of individuals crowded Kyiv’s railway station attempting to pressure their manner onto packed trains evacuating individuals westward to Lviv. When a prepare arrived, individuals rushed the doorways, some screamed, and guards fired blanks to scare the group away.

Maria, 30, had been there because the morning along with her youngster, husband and canine, attempting and failing to board the trains.

“It is harmful to interrupt by way of the group with a child,” she stated. “The canine is scared. Truthfully, we’re exhausted.”

People walk as they flee from Ukraine to Hungary at a border crossing in Beregsurany, Hungary, Friday.
Folks stroll as they flee from Ukraine to Hungary at a border crossing in Beregsurany, Hungary, Friday. (Photograph: Bernadett Szabo, Reuters)

Contributing: Aleksandar Vasovi, Alan Charlish and Fedja Grulovic

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