Border officers find $61 million worth of drugs in shipments of limes and nopales

California

CBP officers found meth during an intensive inspection of a shipment of cactus Aug. 7 at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego. (CBP)

SAN DIEGO (WLNS) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found almost 15,000 pounds of marijuana in what was supposed to be a shipment of limes, and more than half a ton of meth in a shipment of nopales on Aug. 7.

At around 6:30 p.m., officers scanned a tractor-trailer with an X-ray imaging system at the Otay Mesa border crossing. Officers found 622 large packages containing 14,880 pounds of marijuana.

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

The narcotics have an estimated street value of almost $60 million.

Earlier that day, border officers found meth during an intensive inspection of a shipment of cactus, or nopales. A CBP canine team screened the shipment, and the dog alerted to one of that pallets.

CBP officers searched inside the crates of cactus pads (which are often used in nopales, or prickly pear, dishes and drinks) and found packages, wrapped with green tape, hidden inside among the pads.
CBP officers found meth during an intensive inspection of a shipment of cactus Aug. 7 at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego. (CBP)

CBP officers searched crates and found packages wrapped with green tape hidden inside the cactus pads. In all, officers found 590 packages, containing about 668 pounds of methamphetamine. The narcotics have an estimated street value of over $1.5 million. 

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