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Man caught smuggling nearly $1.2M of meth in squash shipment

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042822 Narcotics.jpg
Posted at 4:20 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 20:12:56-04

OTAY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) – A man was arrested for attempting to smuggle more than 550 pounds of methamphetamine and almost three pounds of cocaine inside a shipment of squash back in April, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

On April 28 at about 7:45 p.m., a 25-year-old driver applied for entry into the U.S. from Mexico at the Otay Mesa Cargo facility, the border patrol said. The driver presented a valid border crossing card, and he was directed aside for further inspection.

CBP officers screened the truck using the port’s imaging system. He was then sent to the dock, where an officer with a human/narcotics detector dog screened the shipment, where the dog alerted officers to the pallet of squash.

CBP officers began searching the boxes and found 259 packages of methamphetamine and one package of cocaine mixed in with the produce. CBP said a total of 552.65 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of about $1.2 million and 2.78 pounds of cocaine worth about $39,000 were found inside the boxes of squash.

The driver was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.

“Our officers are keen at detecting unusual behavior and utilizing our advanced technology to find narcotics,” said Anne Maricich, CBP Deputy Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “Smugglers will always try new, creative methods to smuggle narcotics, but our officers are always prepared for the unexpected.”