Packages of meth
Packages of meth inside the tractor-trailer at Otay Mesa. Courtesy CBP

Customs and Border Protection officials announced Tuesday the largest methamphetamine drug-smuggling seizure along the southwest border to date — 2.8 tons of drugs hidden in a shipment of household articles at Otay Mesa.

The agency said the record seizure occurred last Thursday afternoon, when officers encountered the driver of a tractor-trailer hauling a shipment of plastic household articles. During an inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver, along with the shipment, for an intensive examination.

A canine team then confirmed the presence of narcotics concealed inside boxes loaded in the truck. Officers removed 5,528 pounds of meth and 127 pounds of fentanyl powder in 414 packages.

The estimated value of the drugs is more than $12.9 million, the CBP said.

The truck’s driver, a 53-year-old Mexican man, was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he awaits federal charges.

“This amount of fentanyl and methamphetamine is enough to ruin countless lives and fund transnational criminal organizations,” said Pete Flores, CBP’s director of San Diego Field Operations.

“I’m proud of our officers’ efforts at all ports of entry within the San Diego Field Office to intercept this and all smuggling attempts,” he said.

City News Service contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

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