Border agents seize $3.9 million in drugs, some disguised as popcorn

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 19:27:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More than $3.9 million in narcotics were seized over the weekend at ports of entry in both San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties, Border Patrol agents said Tuesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said about 388 pounds of methamphetamine, 162 pounds of cocaine, 32 pounds of heroin, and 250 pounds of marijuana between Friday and Sunday. The narcotics were concealed in various parts of vehicles, including the bumper, trunk, spare tire, quarter panel, and floor. 

Included in the haul was 15 packages of meth disguised as popcorn, with a street value of more than $481,952.

On Sunday, CBP officers stopped a 25-year-old female, who is a U.S. citizen, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, after noticing an "excessive amount of food" during a primary inspection.

Further inspection and a canine team lead to the narcotics discovery in popcorn boxes.

"Smuggling trends continuously fluctuate and CBP officers remain vigilant in combating these attempts," Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego, said.

All narcotics and vehicles were also seized by CBP.

In another release Tuesday, CBP said two separate incidents on Interstate 8 led to the discovery of about 80 pounds of meth.

On Saturday at about 2 p.m., agents said they pulled over a 21-year-old Mexican national driving west near Pine Valley with a flat tire and his car was reportedly fishtailing. The driver told agents he was not aware of the flat tire.

During the conversation, agents said a canine alerted them to drugs in the vehicle and a search was conducted, uncovering about 41 pounds of meth, valued at $139,434.

On Sunday, agents pulled over a 29-year-old U.S. citizen and his five passengers. Again, during questioning, a canine alerted agents to drugs in the vehicle. A search revealed about 40 pounds of meth, valued at $130,176.

Border Patrol agents have reportedly seized nearly 1,990 pounds of meth in the San Diego Sector alone during fiscal year 2017.