Mexican Trucker Faces Life in Prison After Caught Smuggling Record-Breaking Load of Drugs
San Diego, CA — A trucker from Mexico is facing life in prison after he was caught smuggling a record-setting load of narcotics into the United States.
The bust occurred on Thursday, November 18, at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry Cargo Facility.
At approximately 8:18 p.m., trucker Carlos Martin Quintana-Arias, a Mexican citizen, approached the facility operating a 2009 Kenworth and hauling a load manifested as automotive parts.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents became suspicious when a canine alerted to the rear trailer door.
Further inspection of the trailer’s contents revealed a few automotive body parts among 6,266 packages of drugs.
According to the complaint against Quintana-Arias, of the total drug packages, 6,106 packages contained a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine; these packages together weighed approximately 7,976.2 kilograms (17,584.33 lbs.).
The other 160 packages contained a substance that field-tested positive for fentanyl and weighed approximately 176.42 kilograms (388.93 lbs.).
CBP said it was the largest seizure of meth ever made at the U.S. southern border.
The largest meth seizure along the southwest border! 8.9 tons of drugs were seized at the #OtayMesa Port of Entry Cargo Facility. Outstanding work by our #CBP officers, staying vigilant and disrupting transnational criminal organizations. Read more here: https://t.co/baXUC015nV pic.twitter.com/IxDBjoYZD4
— Director of Field Operations Pete Flores (@DFOSanDiegoCA) November 20, 2021
“This is a staggering seizure that demonstrates the extent of our current fight against mass production of methamphetamine and fentanyl. But for the vigilance of our law enforcement partners, this record-breaking deluge of drugs would have caused incredible damage in our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman.
As for Quintana-Arias, he has been charged with drug trafficking.
If convicted, he will face a minimum sentence of ten years in prison up to life.
In addition, he could also be fined $10 million.