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


This picture reveals the Otay Mesa business facility the place authorities found virtually 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 practically $3 million price of methamphetamine hidden in small packages inside a cargo of onions at a business 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 carried out by the company’s Okay-9 workforce, 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 line with Customs and Border Safety.

The packages, which have been combined with the onion cargo in sacks, “have been formed into small globes with a white protecting, designed to mix into the onions they have 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 line with Customs and Border Safety. In addition they seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics, the company mentioned.

“This was not solely a intelligent try to attempt to smuggle in narcotics, one I have never seen earlier than, but additionally time-consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to seem like onions,” mentioned Sidney Aki, Customs and Border Safety director of discipline 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 we now have definitely seen narcotics in produce earlier than, it is uncommon for us to see this stage of element within the concealment.”

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