Last week, officials in Southern California arrested a 28-year-old driver after they found almost $10 million worth of drugs concealed in a consignment of jalapeño paste, according to the authorities.
Just after 10:30 a.m., border officials at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility came upon the driver of a commercial tractor-trailer with vats of jalapeño paste. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated on Wednesday.
Along with his rig and its shipment, the driver—whom authorities claim to be the legitimate owner of a border crossing card—was moved to a separate region for additional inspection, the agency stated.
After inspecting the container, a CBP K-9 unit notified the officers about what border officials had posted on X, referring to it as a “hot find.”
Within the barrels of jalapeño paste, 349 suspicious parcels were found, according to the agency. 522.5 pounds of cocaine and 3,161.43 pounds of methamphetamine were found in the shipments during testing.
The government estimates that the pills have a street worth of $10.4 million.
The drugs and tractor-trailer were seized by border officials, and the driver was handed over to Homeland Security Investigations for additional processing. The driver’s further details were not immediately made available.
“Our K-9 teams are an invaluable component of our counter-narcotics operations, providing a reliable and unequaled mobile detection capability,” Otay Mesa Port Director Rosa Hernandez said, adding that the agency will continue to protect communities and “stifle growth of transnational criminal organizations, one seizure after another.”
Over 14,000 pounds of drugs were taken into custody by the organization’s San Diego Field Office in November.