SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working the commercial side of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana intercepted 3.5 million fentanyl pills concealed in a shipment of green beans.
According to a CBP news release, the pills have a street value of more than $21.1 million.
The bust was made on Monday night.
CBP said officers encountered a 48-year-old male driver of a tractor-trailer hauling what he described as a shipment of green beans.
During the initial inspection, the driver and his truck were ordered to an area where an “intensive agriculture inspection,” was done.
It was described as a non-intrusive scan, which showed “irregularities” leading officers to bring in a human-narcotic detector dog.
CBP says the K-9 alerted officers to the presence of narcotics, and moments later they discovered and extracted a total of 308 packages concealed in the shipment of green beans.
The packets reportedly tested positive, their contents were identified as fentanyl pills.
All the pills weighed a combined 776 pounds according to CBP.
“CBP recognizes our officers’ exceptional performance and applaud their continued efforts to protect and serve our communities,” said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility. “This seizure provides insight and displays how our officers work together in collaboration to keep this dangerous drug off the streets.”
CBP says the driver was detained for the narcotic smuggling attempt and was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Officers seized the tractor, trailer and the fentanyl.