California border officers find thousands of pounds of meth in shipment of carrots

Border officers in Southern California seized nearly 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine worth millions of dollars after discovering the drugs hidden in a shipment of carrots, officials said Tuesday.

The drugs were seized just before noon on Sunday at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facilitynear San Diego, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

CBP officers stopped a 44-year-old man who was driving a commercial tractor trailer hauling a shipment manifested as carrots. The driver, who had a valid border crossing card, and his shipment were referred for a secondary inspection.

Officers unloaded the shipment of carrots onto a dock for a thorough inspection and found more than just vegetables.

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CBP officers seized a total of 574 packages that tested positive for meth. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Under the packages of carrots, officers found hundreds of suspicious orange-colored packages. Those packages were tested and confirmed to contain methamphetamine, officials said.

The seized meth had an estimated street value in the millions of dollars, CBP said. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

CBP officers seized a total of 574 packages of meth weighing approximately 2,900 poundsfrom the shipment. Officials said the estimated street value of the drugs seized is in the millions of dollars.

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“I couldn’t be prouder of the exceptional work by our CBP officers,” said Rosa E. Hernandez, port director for Otay Mesa Port of Entry. “While facilitating lawful trade and travel, our officers steadfastly combat the trafficking of dangerous drugs at our borders.”

CBP officers stopped a 44-year-old driver with a valid border crossing card at the Otay Mesa Commercial Port of Entry in Southern California on Sunday. (Google Maps)

The driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation. No further information about the driver was immediately provided.

Since fiscal 2024 began in October, CBP has seized more than 49,000 pounds of methamphetamine. In all of fiscal 2023, border officers confiscated about 140,000 pounds of meth.

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