Limes Of Deception: CBP Uncovers 'A Whopper Stash' Disguised In Fruit Shipment

By Alan Hume | Wednesday, 28 February 2024 05:15 AM
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility made a significant discovery on Thursday, uncovering a staggering amount of cocaine concealed within a shipment of limes, valued at over $3 million.

Situated in the southern region of San Diego, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, Otay Mesa became the focal point of this illicit drug interception.

In a statement released by CBP, it was disclosed that during a routine inspection at 11:22 a.m., officers encountered a 42-year-old individual operating a commercial tractor-trailer loaded with a cargo listed as Persian limes. Following suspicions raised during the initial assessment, the driver, holding a valid border crossing card, was directed for a more thorough examination alongside the vehicle and its contents.

Subsequent to a K-9 unit alerting officers in the secondary inspection area, a meticulous search of the shipment was initiated. This led to the discovery and extraction of 158 suspicious packages, later confirmed to contain 435 pounds of cocaine, valued at $3,355,800 on the street.

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CBP confirmed that all involved individuals were transferred to Homeland Security Investigations for further legal procedures, while the seized narcotics, semi-truck, and trailer were confiscated by CBP authorities.

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Rosa Hernandez, the Port Director for the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, commended the unwavering dedication of the officers, stating, “Rain or shine, our officers work tirelessly to ensure our communities are free of these dangerous drugs. I’m proud of the efforts our officers make day in and day out.”

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This interception was executed under the umbrella of Operation Apollo, a collaborative initiative involving federal, state, and local agencies aimed at combating the proliferation of fentanyl and other illicit synthetic narcotics. CBP extended an invitation for more detailed information on Operation Apollo for those interested.

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