Officials discover 3,000 pounds of meth at Otay Mesa Port of Entry

Drugs wrapped in plastic in cardboard boxes
Customs and Border Protection officers found bundles of meth, fentanyl and heroin in a semi-trailer at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Friday.
(Customs and Border Protection)

Authorities discovered 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine, plus heroin and fentanyl, in a semi-trailer at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

The drugs, worth an estimated $7.2 million, were found Friday bundled up in cardboard boxes and tucked in the trailer along with boxes of medical lab supplies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.

Authorities said it was the second-largest meth bust in the federal agency’s history. The agency did not provide any information about the biggest methamphetamine bust.

The incident unfolded about 9:45 a.m., after the driver pulled up to the border crossing and claimed the cargo contained medical supplies, officials said.


Customs officers used an imaging system to scan the big rig, noticing what officials described as anomalies in the rear of the trailer.

They sent the big-rig to a dock, where a drug-sniffing dog alerted them to the cardboard boxes in the trailer, officials said. Packed in the boxes were more than 1,800 bundles, containing about 3,000 pounds of meth, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder and 37 pounds of fentanyl pills.

Officers seized the drugs. The driver, a 47-year-old Mexican national, was arrested and turned over to a team of investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration, officials said.

“This massive seizure is testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces — prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country; thus, saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery. “We will continue to work together to disrupt drug trafficking organizations at every opportunity we are given.”

Hernandez writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune