San Diego/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 22, 2024
CBP Agents Thwart Methamphetamine Smuggling Attempt at Otay Mesa Port of EntrySource: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Border security at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in California has again proven its vigilance. On Monday night, a man was caught smuggling a hefty load of methamphetamine into the United States. At 12:31 a.m., a 63-year-old male driving a 2007 pickup truck was stopped by CBP officers as he attempted to cross the border from Mexico. The initial inspection raised suspicions, prompting a more thorough vehicle examination.

An alert from a CBP K-9 unit led officers to discover an impressive stash of drugs hidden throughout the truck. Disguised within the spare tire, gas tank, quarter panels, and passenger side doors were 102 individual packages, for a combined weight of 124 pounds of methamphetamine. Over a hundred packs are camouflaged within a mundane vehicle, a smuggling tactic that border officers are trained to anticipate and uncover.

According to a statement provided by CBP, Port Director Rosa Hernandez expressed pride in her team's performance. "This interception underscores the officers' continued diligence and commitment to national security," she asserted. "I am extremely proud of our officers’ exceptional ability to remain steadfast and vigilant while carrying out our mission and keeping our communities safe."

The stakes are high, and the outcome of such interceptions can ripple through communities. The narcotics and the vehicle were seized, and the driver now faces justice, entrusted to Homeland Security Investigations for further probing into the case. 

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo, a strategic initiative against the influx of drugs like fentanyl while also intercepting other narcotics, as demonstrated by this recent bust. Since its inception in southern California in late 2023 and its expansion to Arizona on April 10, Operation Apollo has been focusing on intelligence gathering and amplifying partnerships to stem the tide of these dangerous substances into U.S. territory.