U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities seized more than 1,336 pounds of methamphetamine disguised at onions in Southern California, the agency announced on Friday. The drugs, which authorities say was an admittedly “clever attempt” at smuggling, were said to be worth roughly $2.9 million.
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
- Trying to disguise meth as onions isn’t something you see every day. While USCBP officers have likely seen all kinds of ruses to get past them, this was a new one. “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, director of field operations in San Diego.
- Border agents did a good job uncovering the smuggling attempt. On February 20, officers inspected a tractor-trailer carrying a shipment that was labeled as onions. One officer believed something was up with the 46-year-old driver and his shipment, so he referred him for “more intense examination,” where a canine dog flagged the cargo.
- The meth really did look like onions. Upon further inspection, authorities found nearly 1,200 packages full of meth in “small globes with a white covering” mixed in with lots of bags of actual onions. As Aki said: “While we have certainly seen narcotics as produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”
- The driver was arrested immediately. The driver, a Mexican citizen, was arrested for attempted drug smuggling and given to federal agencies for further interviews and processing.