More Than 12 Million Dollars’ Worth of Hard Narcotics Found in Heavy Machinery at Otay Mesa Commercial Facility

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SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry found more than 12 million dollars’ worth of narcotics concealed within a shipment of heavy machinery gears. 

On August 5, at 9:16 a.m., a 37-year-old truck driver applied for entry into the U.S. at the Otay Mesa commercial facility by presenting his valid Border Crossing Card.  The man was driving a 2009 Freightliner truck with a shipment manifested as heavy machinery gears.

After conducting an initial inspection, officers referred the driver and his truck along with the trailer for further inspection.

A CBP officer screened the conveyance with his assigned human/narcotics detector dog, which alerted to one of the mechanical gears within the shipment.  CBP officers conducted an intensive, physical inspection and noticed that one of the gears appeared to have inconsistent work done when compared to the other gears.

CBP officers further inspected the gear, removing and seizing 362 packages of cocaine, weighing 870.78 pounds, and 18 packages containing fentanyl, weighing 41.75 pounds, from inside the heavy machinery.

The total estimated street value of the discovered narcotics amounted to $12.8 million.

“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.

CBP officers seized the narcotics along with the truck and trailer.

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