Officers at the Nogales Commercial Facility seized the large supply of methamphetamine on March 9 from a Mexican national, when he attempted to enter the United States through the Port of Nogales.
The drugs were discovered concealed in a hidden compartment in the floor of a tractor trailer full of fruit and vegetables, driven by the 34-year-old man.
The drug bust, in which approximately 690lbs of meth (313kg) was seized, has been described as ‘the largest methamphetamine load in Arizona ports history’ by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Officers discovered more than 600 packages of drugs inside the tractor trailer, which they were alerted to by a CBP narcotics detection dog. The drugs had a street value of nearly $12.4 million (around £10.5m).
Area Port Director Michael Humphries said in astatement:
CBP Officers are focused on our highest priorities which includes stopping the flow of hard narcotics such as methamphetamine and opioids from entering our country.
Our officers prevented these dangerous drugs from causing devastation to families and ultimately saving many lives, not only in our community but throughout the United States.
The truck driver, whose name has not been released, was turned over to the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – an investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
Juan Mariscal, the Nogales Assistant Special Agent in Charge for HSI, said:
As proud partners of CBP, we stand ready to investigate drug seizures discovered at the ports of entry by those who are uniquely qualified in stopping attempts of illicit drugs from entering the United States.
HSI remains dedicated to working with our law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe.
This particular drug bust was part of a larger operation between March 5 and March 10, during which time local officers seized over 1,000lbs of meth, heroin, fentanyl and cocaine from commercial vehicles, personal vehicles and pedestrians.
In addition to this, 4,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition that were headed for Mexico were also confiscated, according to Humphries.
However, the port director said the March 9 seizure stood out, saying, as perNogales International: ‘We’re not dealing with a street peddler or anything like that. We’re dealing with a major international criminal organisation… just because of the sheer amount.’
Hopefully those responsible will be brought to justice.