$9M worth of drugs seized at San Diego-Mexico border in 24 hours

SAN DIEGO – Over $9 million worth of drugs were seized with 24 hours at ports of entry along the California border with Mexico, authorities announced Thursday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 12,215 pounds of narcotics worth $9.1 million from midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday.

CBP officers intercepted 227 pounds of methamphetamine, 11,895 pounds of marijuana, 11 pounds of fentanyl and 83 pounds of cocaine hidden inside vehicles within various vehicle compartments including seats, a speaker box, a spare tire and quarter panels.

About 2:30 a.m., CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry stopped a 30-year-old man in a 1998 Honda Civic. An inspection of the U.S. citizen’s vehicle uncovered wrapped packages concealed in the quarter panel.

CBP dogs alerted officers to a discovery of 37 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed in the spare tire, quarter panels and seats. The weight of the narcotics was 144 pounds with an estimated street value of approximately $504,000.

A 45-year-old man from Mexico with a valid visa driving a 2006 Strickland tractor pulling a trailer with shipments of macaroni pasta entered Otay Mesa Cargo facility. An examination of the cargo uncovered large amounts of marijuana. The total of 472 packages with an estimated street value of more than $6.7 million was confiscated by officers.

A border detector dog at Otay Mesa port of entry alerted border officers of a 1998 Saturn driven by an 18-year-old U.S. citizen around 3 p.m. An inspection of the vehicle discovered 10 packages of methamphetamine and four packages of fentanyl hidden in the heater core. The weight of the narcotics was 20 pounds with an estimated street value of $469,000.

All of the drivers were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

CBP officers seized the vehicles and narcotics.