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CBP seizes $2.5M worth of meth hidden in watermelon shipment

CBP seize meth in watermelons
CBP seize meth hidden in watermelons
Posted at 4:23 PM, May 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-22 19:23:54-04

OTAY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A trailer carrying a shipment of watermelons through a checkpoint in Otay Mesa wasn’t just hauling fruit – there was $2.5 million worth of methamphetamine mixed in with the watermelons, officials confirmed.

At about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Otay Mesa commercial facility inspected a tractor pulling a trailer “with a shipment manifested as watermelons.”

According to an agency news release, a CBP K-9 officer screened the trailer and alerted officers to the watermelon shipment.

Inside the shipment, officers found 193 packages concealed within the watermelon crates. In total, it contained approximately 1,100 pounds of methamphetamine worth roughly $2.5 million, CBP said.

This is the second significant seizure of methamphetamine packages discovered within the same week, CBP said.

RELATED: Border officials seize 2,500 pounds of meth in Otay Mesa medical supply shipment

“We don’t frequently see seizures of this size, but they are certainly a risk in the cargo environment,” said Anne Maricich, Acting CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “Stopping over 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine is a critical act for the security and health of our nation.”

CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, and narcotics.

The driver – a 47-year-old Mexican citizen – was turned over to agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homelands Security Investigations. He was booked into the Metropolitan Correction Center in San Diego County on suspicion of drug smuggling.