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By Tori B. Powell
February 26, 2022 / 6:20 PM / CBS News
Authorities have seized approximately 1,336 pounds of methamphetamine disguised as onions in Southern California, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday. The confiscated drugs are worth an estimated $2.9 million, authorities said.
“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,” Sidney Aki, director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement.
On February 20, border patrol officers inspected a tractor trailer carrying a shipment indicated as onions. An officer referred the 46-year-old driver and the items for a “more intense examination,” where a canine team screened the tractor trailer. A dog alerted to the shipment, which prompted officers to search it further.
That’s when authorities discovered almost 1,200 packages of methamphetamine shaped in “small globes with a white covering” that were mixed with actual sacks of onions, CBP said.
“While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment,” Aki said.
The driver, who is a Mexican citizen, was arrested for the alleged drug smuggling attempt and turned over to federal agencies for additional disposition.
Tori B. Powell is a breaking news reporter at CBS News. Reach her at email@example.com
First published on February 26, 2022 / 6:20 PM
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