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CBP Officers Nab Man Attempting To Smuggle Methamphetamine in Landscaping Equipment

Release Date: 
February 23, 2015

TECATE, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Tecate port of entry Friday arrested a man after discovering almost 84 pounds of methamphetamine stashed inside a lawn mower and garden trash can that were being transported in the bed of the pickup he was driving.

CBP officers found pacakges of methampheamine hidden in this lawnmower.

CBP officers found pacakges of methampheamine hidden in this lawnmower.

The incident occurred shortly before 6 a.m. on February 20, when CBP officers encountered a 23-year-old U.S. citizen after he arrived at the port driving a 1994 Toyota T100 pickup.  A CBP narcotics detector dog alerted to the bed of the pickup, which was loaded with landscaping equipment, and officers referred the driver and vehicle for further review.

During an intensive inspection, officers offloaded the landscaping equipment from the bed of the pickup and discovered a lawn mower that had been modified to conceal a specially-built compartment and a garden trash can that contained a false bottom.  Officers continued searching the equipment and ultimately removed a total of 46 wrapped packages that were hidden in the lawn mover’s underside as well as underneath the false bottom of the trash can.

CBP officers at the Tecate port of entry found methamphetamine in hidden in this lawnmower and in a garbage can with a false bottom.

CBP officers at the Tecate port of entry found methamphetamine in hidden in this lawnmower and in a garbage can with a false bottom.

The packages field-tested positive as methamphetamine and have a street value of approximately $835,000.

The driver, a resident of Chula Vista, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.  He was later transported to the San Diego County Jail to await arraignment.

CBP seized the vehicle and the narcotics.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017