Authorities seize nearly $3M worth of meth in onion shipment

Author: AP
This photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows the Otay Mesa commercial facility where authorities discovered almost 1,200 small packages of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of onions on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

Authorities seized nearly $3 million worth of methamphetamine, hidden among a shipment of onions, during a tractor-trailer’s inspection at a federal facility in San Diego, officials announced Friday.

A K-9 unit for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection alerted to the trailer’s shipment of onions on Sunday. Officers found nearly 1,200 small packages of meth, the agency said Friday in a news release.

Officials said that the 46-year-old driver, a Mexican national who was not named, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry commercial vehicle facility.

The packages of meth — more than 1,336 pounds (606 kilograms) — were shaped into small globes with a white covering, the agency said and meant to blend into the onions. The drugs are estimated to be worth $2.9 million on the street.

“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time-consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, in the news release. “While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”

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