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Trucker charged in 'record-breaking' drug seizure at Otay Mesa Port of Entry

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 20:20:24-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A trucker is facing federal drug charges after authorities say he was caught with record-breaking amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl inside his truck while trying to cross into the United States at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.

Carlos Martin-Quintana-Arias, a Mexican resident whose age was not disclosed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, was arrested on Thursday evening after 17,584 pounds of methamphetamine and 388.93 pounds of fentanyl were seized from the trailer of his truck.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says both amounts would be the largest seizures of either drug in the entire United States in either 2020 or 2021.

Prosecutors allege Quintana-Arias' manifest indicated his trailer contained auto body parts, but "anomalies" were detected in the trailer by both an X-Ray machine and drug dog on scene.

Officials found 6,266 packages of drugs inside the trailer, which also contained "a few" automotive body parts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Of those packages, 6,106 contained substances that tested positive for methamphetamine, while the remaining 160 contained substances tested positive for fentanyl.

Quintana-Arias was arraigned in San Diego federal court on Friday on two counts of importation of a controlled substance.