CBP Seizes Charcoal Shipment Containing $1 Million Worth Of Methamphetamine

(PatriotWise.com) — US Customs and Border Protection discovered more than a million dollars’ worth of drugs hidden in a shipment of charcoal that crossed the border into Southern California last week, KUSI reported.

According to an April 22 news release from Customs and Border Protection, officers at the Otay Mesa Ports of Entry Cargo Facility found methamphetamine worth more than $1 million hidden in a commercial tractor-trailer on Thursday, April 18.

The officers encountered the tractor-trailer at the Otay Mesa Ports of Entry last Thursday at around 8:29 p.m. The manifest showed that the tractor-trailer was carrying a shipment of charcoal. The 46-year-old driver, who had a valid border crossing card, and the tractor-trailer were singled out for further examination and inspection of cargo by CBP officers.

The officers conducted a full search of the tractor-trailer using non-intrusive scanning. Irregularities were found during the scan and a subsequent search of the tractor-trailer by a canine narcotics detection team indicated the presence of narcotics.

Officers then searched the trailer, where they found and seized 119 packages that had been concealed within the charcoal shipment. Tests conducted on the packages identified the drugs as methamphetamine.

The total weight of the narcotics was 782 pounds.

Otay Mesa Ports of Entry Director Rosa Hernandez described the finding as a “significant interception” that showcased the dedication the Otay Mesa CBP officers have to “ensuring border security.”

Hernandez said the Otay Mesa team was “focused on safeguarding our communities from harmful drugs.” She lauded the innovative technology the CBP employs to support its “comprehensive enforcement strategies.”

The tractor-trailer was singled out as part of the ongoing Operation Apollo, a counter-fentanyl operation in southern California that launched in October last year. The operation expanded into Arizona earlier this month.

According to Customs and Border Protection, Operation Apollo is a joint effort between local CBP field assets and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to target the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.

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