by Photo provided by The U.S Customs and Border Protection

Authorities seized nearly 1,200 packages of methamphetamine concealed with a shipment of onions during a tractor-trailer inspection at an Otay Mesa commercial facility. 

The U.S Customs and Border Protection officers encountered a 46-year-old tractor-trailer driver with a shipment of onions, which after K-9 unit inspection, possessed nearly $3 million worth of methamphetamine, the agency announced in a press release on Friday.

The driver, a Mexican citizen was not named, but officials say he was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry commercial vehicle facility. 

Upon search, CBP officers discovered 1,197 packages of methamphetamine mixed with the onions in sacks. The packages of methamphetamine were shaped into small globes with a white covering, designed to blend into the onions they were hidden with. 

According to the agency, the total methamphetamine shipment weighed more than 1,336 pounds or 606 kilograms. Authorities estimate the shipment’s street value to be worth $2.9 million. 

“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, in the news release. 

“While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”

CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, and narcotics.

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