SAN DIEGO — Officers seized over $12 million worth of drugs hidden in a truck’s shipment of heavy machinery gears earlier this month at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
The narcotics bust occurred Aug. 5 around 9:15 a.m. as a 37-year-old driving a 2009 Freightliner truck was applying for entry into the U.S. at the Otay Mesa commercial facility, the border agency stated in a release Thursday.
Officers conducted a further inspection of the vehicle and the trailer, when they noticed that one of the gears appeared to have inconsistent work done compared to the other gears, CBP said. Authorities found 362 packages of cocaine and 18 packages containing fentanyl from inside the heavy machinery. Both narcotics weighed a combined 912 pounds.
“No matter the size of the conveyance and concealing method smugglers attempt to use, our officers are keen at discovering even the most minuscule inconsistencies,” said Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “Our officers will continue to prevent these deadly drugs from crossing our borders.”
The driver was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further processing, according to border officials.