1,100-pound meth shipment hidden in watermelon shipment caught at border


OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered more than 1,100 pounds of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of watermelons. This is the second significant seizure of methamphetamine packages discovered within the same week.

On Tuesday, at approximately 6:45 p.m., CBP officers encountered a driver, truck and trailer with a shipment manifested as watermelons. During the inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver along with the shipment for an intensive examination.

During the exam, a CBP canine team screened the tractor trailer and alerted to the shipment of watermelons. CBP officers searched the cargo and discovered a combination of 193 wrapped plastic containers and packages of methamphetamine concealed within the watermelon crates. The estimated street value of the methamphetamine is approximately $2.5 million U.S. dollars.

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The 47-year-old Mexican male driver was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt. CBP officers turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. The driver is currently facing federal charges and has been transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.

CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, and narcotics.

“We don’t frequently see seizures of this size, but they are certainly a risk in the cargo environment,” said Anne Maricich, Acting CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “Stopping over 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine is a critical act for the security and health of our nation.”

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Criminal charges are merely allegations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

CBP officers at the border crossing in Southern California stop illegal activity while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found here: CBP-enforcement-statistics