SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Sunday seized nearly $3 million worth of methamphetamine disguised as onions.
According to the agency, officers encountered a 46-year-old driver hauling what appeared to be onions at the Otay Mesa commercial facility around 1 p.m. Saturday.
During an inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver for a more intensive examination.
A CBP canine team screened the truck and trailer and alerted officers to the shipment. Upon inspection, officers found nearly 2,000 packages of meth mixed in with the onions.
“The packages of methamphetamine were shaped into small globes with a white covering, designed to blend into the onions they were hidden with,” CBP said.
According to the agency, the drugs weighed 1,336 pounds worth an estimated street value of roughly $2.9 million.
“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego.
“These efforts show how effective our officers are, and as a response, the lengths drug trafficking organizations are willing to go to as they try to smuggle narcotics into the U.S. While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”
The driver, identified only as a Mexican citizen, was arrested and placed in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.