Otay POE: Second Largest Border Meth Bust in History, 3100 lbs of meth, heroin, fentanyl

Chivis Martinez-Borderland Beat Homeland Security Press Release

Second Largest Border Meth Bust
in History

SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and
Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa commercial facility Friday seized
more than 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl powder, fentanyl pills and heroin
as part of the second largest methamphetamine bust along the southwest border
in the history of the agency, based on information developed by DEA, working
jointly with HSI.

“Smugglers will try every way
possible to try and get their product across the border and because of the
partnership between CBP, Homeland Security investigations and DEA this
significant seizure occurred and we stopped them,” said Anne Maricich, acting
CBP director of field operations in San Diego. “I’m proud of the CBP officers’ dedication
to our mission; they continue to stop dangerous drugs from entering our
communities.”

On Oct. 9, at about 9:45 a.m., a
driver arrived at the cargo border crossing with a tractor-trailer shipment
that was manifested as medical supplies. 
The officer decided to refer the driver, truck, and shipment for a more
intensive inspection.

CBP officers screened the truck
using the port’s imaging system, similar to an x-ray, and found anomalies with
the rear of the trailer. The conveyance was sent to the dock and a canine
alerted to the boxes inside the trailer. 
Officers offloaded the shipment and discovered 1,816 packages co-mingled
with the medical supplies that primarily contained clear plastic pipette tips,
spray bottles of surface decontaminate and calibrated pipette tools (used for
sampling and dispensing liquid).

CBP officers later extracted
approximately 3,014 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds
of fentanyl powder, and almost 37 pounds of fentanyl pills, worth an estimated
$7.2 million.  CBP officers seized the
narcotics and conveyance.

CBP officers later extracted
approximately 3,014 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds
of fentanyl powder, and almost 37 pounds of fentanyl pills, worth an estimated
$7.2 million.  “This massive seizure is
testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces –
prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country; thus
saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,” said DEA Special
Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “DEA cherishes our great law enforcement
partners in San Diego, especially those who work tirelessly to protect our
nation’s borders.  We will continue to
work together to disrupt drug trafficking organizations at every opportunity we
are given.”

The driver, a 47–year-old male
Mexican citizen, was arrested and turned over the custody of the joint
investigative team from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland
Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration; he will face
criminal charges.

“This significant seizure is a
prime example of how a successful partnership between HSI, CBP, and DEA results
in the disruption of transnational criminal organizations while protecting our
country from dangerous illicit drugs,” said Juan Munoz, acting Special Agent in
Charge of HSI in San Diego. “We will continue to work tirelessly to bring those
responsible to justice.”

Criminal charges are merely
allegations.  Defendants are presumed
innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

CBP officers at the border
crossing in Southern California stop illegal activity while processing millions
of legitimate travelers into the United States.