Packages of meth disguised amid fresh spinach. Courtesy CPB

Customs and Border Protection officers at Otay Mesa discovered $1.3 million worth of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of fresh spinach, wrapped in paper with pictures of spinach on it.

The smuggling incident occurred at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when a tractor-trailer purporting to carry a shipment of fresh spinach pulled into the commercial port for inspection. The driver and his load were referred to the port’s X-ray imaging system.

The X-ray exam uncovered anomalies in the shipment and a drug-sniffing dog team was called in, ultimately alerting officers to the drugs.

Officers found 127 wrapped packages of methamphetamine mixed within the boxes of fresh spinach. The contraband weighed more than 580 pounds.

“CBP officers continue to expedite legitimate trade and travel without letting their guard down when it comes to protecting our country,” said Rosa Hernandez, director of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. “We are aggressively combating the flow of illegal narcotics and preventing them to reach our communities.”

CBP officers turned the driver, a Mexican citizen, over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who transported him to the Metropolitan Correction Center to await federal charges.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.