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CBP Officers Bust Open Quartz Boulders to Seize Cocaine and Methamphetamine Cemented Inside

Release Date: 
September 15, 2020

TECATE, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Tecate cargo crossing had to break open boulders on Monday to find 229 packages of methamphetamine and cocaine hidden inside.

Officers searched the truck, tractor-trailer, and cargo containing various rocks, and ultimately had to break open the large quartz boulders that were part of the shipment.“Hard to believe, but this isn’t the first time CBP officers in California have had to actually break open rocks or other items to get at the narcotics that drug trafficking organizations have hidden inside,” said Jose Haro, officer in charge of the Tecate port of entry.  “Our officers are well-trained to notice discrepancies to stop drug shipments like this from making their way into our communities.”

At about 10:45 a.m. on Sept. 14, a truck driver arrived at the Tecate border crossing with a shipment listed on the trucking manifest as multiple tons of beach pebbles and stones.  The CBP officer completing the inspection for entry to the U.S. referred the driver, truck, and shipment to the dock.

At the dock, a CBP officer noticed discrepancies with the shipment.  A CBP canine team screened the shipment, which resulted positive for narcotics.

Inside, officers found packages wrapped with black electrical tape, which had been cemented inside of the stones.  Officers searched the truck, tractor-trailer, and cargo containing various rocks, and ultimately had to break open the large quartz boulders that were part of the shipment.  Inside, officers found packages wrapped with black electrical tape, which had been cemented inside of the stones. 

In total, officers found 229 packages concealed inside the large rocks: 104 packages of methamphetamine and 125 packages of cocaine.  Combined, the approximate 337 pounds of methamphetamine and 223 pounds of cocaine have an estimated street value of almost $3.9 million.

CBP officers seized the tractor-trailer, shipment, and narcotics.

CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.

Last modified: 
September 15, 2020