U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry seized 286 pounds of methamphetamine and 26 pounds of fentanyl hidden in the sleeper cab of a tractor-trailer truck. Photo via CBP.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry seized 286 pounds of methamphetamine and 26 pounds of fentanyl hidden in the sleeper cab of a tractor-trailer truck.

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we continue to see attempts to move hard narcotics across the border and into U.S. communities,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego.  “CBP officers at all of our nation’s legal border crossings remain on the job and vigilant during these unprecedented times.”

At about 7 a.m. on July 23, a driver arrived at the commercial border crossing with a shipment of recycled cardboard; CBP officers referred the truck and driver for a non-intrusive imaging scan and an in-depth examination at the dock.

CBP officers completed the imaging scan and found anomalies in the cab of the truck.  Another CBP officer went in to inspect the truck cab.

Inside, the CBP officer lifted the sleeper compartment and found two black duffel bags hidden inside.  CBP officers removed 64 cellophane-wrapped packages from inside the bags; 59 of the packages contained methamphetamine and five contained fentanyl.

CBP officers seized the narcotics, tractor and trailer.  The driver, a 36-year-old Mexican citizen with a valid B1/B2 border-crossing card, was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center to face federal charges.

According to the DEA, fentanyl, which can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin, is extremely dangerous to law enforcement and anyone else who may come into contact with it. As a result, it represents an unusual hazard for law enforcement.

CBP officers at the border crossing in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. For statistics on more of our apprehensions, please visit: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-enforcement-statistics.

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