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Otay Mesa Commercial Facility

Intercepted shipment of limes reveals over $3 million worth of cocaine

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered over $3 million worth of hard narcotics hidden in a shipment of limes on Thursday.

At approximately 11:22 a.m., CBP officers encountered a 42-year-old man driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested as Persian limes. The driver, a valid border crossing card holder, was referred for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor-trailer and shipment.

In the secondary inspection area, a CBP K-9 unit screened the shipment and alerted officers to examine the trailer more closely. Upon further examination, CBP officers discovered and extracted a total of 158 suspicious packages. The contents of the packages were tested and identified as cocaine with a weight of 435 pounds with an estimated street value of $3,355,800.

"Rain or shine are officers work tirelessly to ensure our communities are free of these dangerous drugs," said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. "I'm proud of the efforts our officers make day in and day out."

All subjects were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations for further processing. The narcotics, semi-truck, and trailer were seized by CBP officers.

These seizures are part of Operation Apollo. Operation Apollo is a joint regional operation comprised of federal, state, and local agencies working to combat the threat from fentanyl, and other illicit synthetic narcotics. More information about Operation Apollo can be found here.

CBP officers at the border crossing in Southern California stop illegal activity while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found here: CBP-enforcement-statistics

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