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.

“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.

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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.

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