$3 MILLION in Drugs Found in Loads of Onions and Ketchup
Pharr, TX; Otay Mesa, CA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered $3 million worth of marijuana and methamphetamine in two major big rig drug busts last week.
The first occurred at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility on July 17.
CBP officers assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility encountered a tractor-trailer hauling a manifested commercial shipment of ketchup.
Upon inspection, CBP agents discovered that the buckets contained much more than just ketchup.
Officers removed 968 packages containing 7,645 pounds (3,468 kg) of alleged marijuana that were hidden within the buckets.
The marijuana has a street value of $1.529 million, CBP said.
The shipment along with the tractor-trailer were seized.
The truck driver has not yet been identified by authorities.
614 Pounds of Meth Hidden in Load of Green Onions
The second bust occurred on July 19 at the Otay Mesa, CA commercial facility.
CBP agents discovered 614 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of green onions.
It happened at approximately 12:30 p.m. when CBP officers encountered a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a tractor pulling a trailer with a shipment manifested as “mint leaves and other spices.”
The CBP officer referred the driver along with the tractor and trailer to the X-ray imaging system.
During the X-ray exam, CBP officers identified anomalies within the shipment and sent the truck and trailer to the dock for a more intensive examination.
A CBP canine team screened the conveyance and the detector dog alerted to the shipment.
CBP officers probed the boxes and discovered a crystal like substance that field-tested positive for the properties of methamphetamine.
CBP officers found 40 wrapped packages of methamphetamine co-mingled with the green onions.
The driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.
The meth has an estimated street value of $1.4 million, CBP said.
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics.
“While drug smuggling organizations try to be creative in finding ways to conceal their illicit merchandise, CBP officers continue to effectively apply inspection skills and technology to prevent narcotics from crossing our borders,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.