OTAY MESA, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry’s cargo facility intercepted a narcotics smuggling attempt of nearly 900,000 fentanyl pills that were concealed inside of porcelain sinks.
The incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on June 26, when a 45-year-old male Mexican national applied for entry into the United States via the Otay Mesa Port of Entry while driving a white 2000 Ford cargo van. The driver presented a valid border crossing card and a shipping manifest for two porcelain sinks. A CBP officer referred the driver along with the vehicle and shipment for further inspection.
While screening the vehicle using a port imaging system, CBP officers discovered anomalies within the shipment. Upon further inspection, a canine detection team alerted to the porcelain sinks. A thorough examination of the sinks revealed a total of 12 packages containing approximately 858,000 blue pills that tested positive for fentanyl.
The total weight of the fentanyl was 189.15 pounds with an estimated street value of $2,574,000.
CBP officers seized the shipment, cargo van, and fentanyl pills, and turned the driver over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.
“Narcotics traffickers will try new and innovative ways to smuggle dangerous drugs across our borders, but CBP officers are always on their toes,” said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa port of entry. “Thanks to our officers’ experience, this interception prevented hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills from ever reaching our communities.”
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