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Officers squash $18 million drug smuggling attempt

sdfU.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered 11,469 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $18 million dollars hidden within a commercial shipment of squash.

On Monday, CBP officers referred the driver for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor-trailer and shipment.

 In secondary, non-intrusive scanning technology was utilized to conduct a full scan of the tractor trailer. After examination, irregularities were observed and CBP officers requested a CBP human and narcotics detection canine. The canine team responded and alerted officers to the presence of narcotics.

 CBP officers discovered and extracted a total of 1,419 packages concealed within the shipment of squash. The narcotics were tested and identified as methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $18.35 million.

 “Our officers’ commitment to duty, excellence, and the safety of our nation is truly commendable. These results serve as an outstanding display of effectiveness in thwarting the illegal importation of narcotics,” said Rosa E. Hernandez, Otay Mesa Area port director. “Their exceptional efforts truly embody the highest standards of service.”

CBP officers seized the narcotics, commercial tractor, and trailer while the driver was turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation for further investigation.

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