Border Officers Intercept $10 Million Drug Haul Disguised in Jalapeño Paste Shipment, Apprehending 28-Year-Old Driver

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Last week, border officers in Southern California apprehended a 28-year-old driver transporting narcotics valued at over $10 million concealed within barrels of jalapeño paste, according to authorities.

Border Officers Intercept $10 Million Drug Haul Disguised in Jalapeño Paste Shipment, Apprehending 28-Year-Old Driver
Border Officers Intercept $10 Million Drug Haul Disguised in Jalapeño Paste Shipment, Apprehending 28-Year-Old Driver ( Photo: Fox News )

The incident unfolded at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility, where border officers encountered the driver piloting a commercial tractor-trailer loaded with vats of jalapeño paste around 10:30 a.m. last Wednesday

Despite being a valid border crossing card holder, the driver was directed to a secondary inspection area for further scrutiny, along with his vehicle and its cargo, as announced by the agency. Utilizing a CBP K-9 unit, officers conducted a thorough inspection and received an alert regarding a “hot find.” Inside the barrels of jalapeño paste, a staggering 349 suspicious packages were uncovered.

Subsequent testing revealed the presence of 3,161.43 pounds of methamphetamine and 522.5 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $10.4 million, according to CBP. The seized drugs and the tractor-trailer were confiscated by border officers, while the driver was handed over to Homeland Security Investigations for additional processing.

Although details about the driver remain undisclosed at this time, the incident highlights the continued efforts of border officers in combating illicit activities

CBP emphasized the role of their K-9 teams in detecting narcotics, with Otay Mesa Port Director Rosa Hernandez asserting, “Our K-9 teams are an invaluable component of our counter-narcotics operations, providing a reliable and unequaled mobile detection capability.” She affirmed the agency’s commitment to safeguarding communities and disrupting the operations of transnational criminal organizations.

Notably, the San Diego Field Office of the agency seized a cumulative total of more than 14,000 pounds of narcotics in the month of November, underscoring the ongoing challenges faced by border officers in their mission to curb drug trafficking.

 

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