In a significant bust, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stationed at the Otay Mesa port of entry uncovered a substantial quantity of fentanyl pills and methamphetamine hidden in various compartments of a vehicle. The discovery was made during a routine vehicle enforcement inspection in the pre-primary area on Monday around 9:30 p.m.
During the initial inspection, CBP officers came across plastic-wrapped packages concealed within the spare tire compartment of a 2000 sedan driven by a 23-year-old female. Suspecting illicit activity, the officers promptly referred the driver to secondary inspection for a more thorough examination.
Upon closer inspection, CBP officers unearthed a staggering total of 109 packages stashed throughout the vehicle. The contents of the packages were subsequently tested and identified as fentanyl pills, weighing approximately 25.26 pounds, and methamphetamine, weighing around 68.60 pounds. The combined street value of these narcotics is estimated to be $838,520.
Rosa Hernandez, the Port Director for the Otay Mesa port of entry, praised the officers' keen observation skills, stating, "Our officers are experts in the observation of human behavior, and it is evident that their continuous efforts and commitment to public safety are a priority."
The driver of the vehicle was immediately detained for her alleged involvement in the smuggling attempt. CBP officers transferred her into the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further legal proceedings. Meanwhile, the seized vehicle and narcotics will remain in the possession of CBP.
The interception of illegal drugs at border crossings in Southern California is an integral part of CBP's ongoing efforts to combat illicit activities while simultaneously processing millions of legitimate travelers entering the United States.