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Border agents find lime and cactus hauls containing marijuana and meth worth $61 million

A green package of meth is concealed inside a crate of cactus pads.
A green package containing methamphetamine is packed inside a crate of cactus pads. Customs officers found 590 such packages among the cactus.
(Customs and Border Protection)

Searches of two big rigs headed into the United States at San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing netted two big hauls last week: 14,880 pounds of pot in lime boxes in one truck and 668 pounds of meth inside cactus crates in another.

Federal officers foiled the smuggling attempts at two stops Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said in a news release this week.

The first happened about 8 a.m., when agents at the border crossing pulled aside a semi truck for a closer look.

Three bins full of packages of meth disguised as cactus parts.
Customs and Border Protection officers found 688 pounds of methamphetamine disguised to look like cactus pads in a big rig at the Otay Mesa border crossing Friday.
(Customs and Border Protection)
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The manifest indicated the truck was hauling crates of cactus pads.

But mixed in among the plants were green packages — 590 of them — the same size as the cactus pads.

In total, those green packages concealed 688 pounds of methamphetamine. The drugs are worth $1.5 million on the street.

Packages containing marijuana
Customs officers found nearly 15,000 pounds of marijuana in a truck attempting to enter the U.S. at the Otay Mesa border crossing Friday.
(Photo courtesy Customs and Border Protection)

The bigger haul came hours later, about 6:30 p.m. Friday evening. This time, officers caught “anomalies” during an X-ray scan of a northbound big rig. They decided to take a look inside.

They were supposed to find limes. Instead they found 622 large, taped-up packages that held 14,880 pounds of pot worth $60 million on the street.

“International drug trafficking organizations will use whatever means they can think of to try and move their illicit shipments into the U.S.,” said San Diego CBP Director of Field Operations Pete Flores.

“CBP officers dedicate their careers to protecting our country by securing the border,” Flores said. “For them, these unusual seizures are all in a day’s work.”

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Figueroa writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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