Federal authorities over the weekend seized more than 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine, making it the second-largest bust in U.S. history, Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday.
Border officials seized more than 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine, 120 pounds of fentanyl powder, fentanyl pills and heroin from a tractor-trailer seeking to enter the United States from Mexico.
The drugs were hidden in 1,800 packages stashed inside other boxes and estimated to be worth about $7.2 million.
After receiving a tip from the Drug Enforcement Administration, CBP officers stopped the trailer Friday at the port of entry in Otay Mesa, California, near San Diego.
The truck was directed from the checkpoint to a drive-through X-ray machine and then inspected by drug-sniffing canines.
“This massive seizure is a testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces — prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country, thus saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.
The driver, a 47-year-old man who is a Mexican citizen, was arrested and turned over to the custody of the joint investigative team from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the DEA. He will face criminal charges, the CBP said in a statement.
Meth seizures at border crossings have more than doubled in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020 compared to all of 2019. Through the end of August, more than 140,000 pounds of meth have been seized, compared to 69,000 for all of last year.