Authorities Make Substantial Drug Finding in Squash Shipment

Authorities Make Substantial Drug Finding in Squash Shipment

( – Authorities in California made a substantial drug bust on May 20 involving tens of thousands of pounds of narcotics.

US Customs and Border Protection agents intercepted a semi-truck transporting squash just before 7am. Officials at California’s Otay Mesa Commercial Facility searched the truck and found nearly 12,000 lbs of meth. The 44-year-old driver attempted to disguise the massive haul as a produce shipment, primarily of squash.

The driver had the proper credentials to transport goods across the border. He was detained by agents after they noticed irregularities and employed a dog to sniff out the illicit cargo. He is currently in the custody of Homeland Security Investigation.

Agents found over 14,000 packages of methamphetamine hidden within the squash bundles. The 11,469 total pounds are estimated to be worth $18 million in street value.

The seizure was part of Operation Apollo, a joint effort that was launched in October 2023 after massive amounts of fentanyl pills began pouring across the southern border. The drug has proven to be highly profitable for cartels, given its highly addictive nature and ease of manufacturing. The operation kicked off in California and recently expanded into Arizona. Narcotics have been pouring more heavily across California’s border as Texas continues to secure its border. Synthetic substances such as fentanyl currently kills about 150 Americans every day.

According to US Customs and Border Protection statistics, overall drug seizures were down in 2023 compared to the previous year. However, seizures of certain drugs such as fentanyl and cocaine spiked significantly. For instance, while authorities seized over 14,000 lbs of fentanyl in 2022, this figure shot up to 27,000 in 2023.

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