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In California, authorities seize over $3 million worth of methamphetamine disguised as onions.

At a commercial facility in San Diego, officers from the United States Customs and Border Protection seized nearly $3 million worth of methamphetamine hidden in small packages within a shipment of onions, according to the federal agency.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry facility last Sunday encountered a 46-year-old man who was driving a tractor-trailer containing a large shipment “manifested like onions,” according to a news release issued on Friday.

 

According to the announcement, after an initial inspection of the vehicle, one officer led the driver and shipment to a more comprehensive assessment conducted by the agency’s K-9 unit, which was later completed.

Officers were alerted to the shipment by one of the detector dogs, who discovered 1,197 packages of meth (equivalent to 1,336 pounds) with an estimated street value of $2.9 million, according to Customs and Border Protection.

Packages “shaped into small globes with a white covering,” according to an announcement, were mixed in with the onion shipment in sacks and “designed to blend in with the onions that they were hidden with,” according to the release.

Officers detained the driver, a Mexican national who has not been identified, for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs into the United States and transferred him to the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) for “further disposition,” according to the Customs and Border Protection.

They also seized a tractor, a trailer, and narcotics, according to the authorities.

In addition to being a clever attempt to smuggle in narcotics, which I had never seen before, wrapping narcotics into these small packages, which were designed to look like onions, was time-consuming, according to Sidney Aki, director of field operations for the Customs and Border Protection office in San Diego.

These efforts demonstrate how effective our officers are, and in response, they demonstrate the lengths to which drug trafficking organizations are willing to go in order to smuggle narcotics into the United States,” the statement continued.

The presence of narcotics in produce has certainly been observed in the past, but it is unusual for us to see this level of detail in concealment.”

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