Two Tons of Meth Seized in Radish Shipment at California Border Crossing

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than two tons of methamphetamine hidden in pallets of radishes at a California border crossing. It is the second time in two days that such a discovery was made at California border crossings from Mexico.

CBP officers assigned to the Calexico Port of Entry on January 31 encountered a tractor-trailer approaching for entry inspection from Mexico into California. The driver presented a manifest indicating a shipment of radishes, according to a statement released by CBP late last week.

The officer referred the driver of the tractor-trailer, a 24-year-old male from Mexico, to the secondary inspection station. Officers carried out a non-intrusive inspection after which a K-9 inspection was requested.

The K-9 alerted CBP officers to the possible presence of narcotics hidden in the pallets of radishes, the statement reports.

During a physical search of the trailer, CBP officers found 1,590 packages that tested positive for methamphetamine. The load of meth weighed 4,563 pounds, officers reported.

CBP officials seized the drugs worth an estimated $5,475,000 and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further disposition, the statement reports.

“Outstanding work by our CBP officers,” said Roque Caza, Port Director for Calexico Port of Entry. “These smuggling attempts are efforts to deceive and misguide us; however, our officers and law enforcement partners are always working together to improve the safety of our communities.”
This is the second such discovery in two days. On January 29, CBP officers assigned to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry encountered another tractor-trailer with a manifest for a shipment of radishes. Again, a non-intrusive inspection and K-9 search led to the discovery of what was described as a “large amount of narcotics hidden in the pallets of radishes.”

Officials did not disclose the type of narcotics or the actual weight of the drug seizure.

Again, the officers seized the drugs and the tractor-trailer. They turned the 24-year-old Mexican national to HSI for further investigation.

“Perseverance- that is the key principle for success,” said Rosa Hernandez, Otay Mesa Port Director. “Our CBP officers are the prime example of applying this practice because, as we all know, things are not always what they seem.”

Officials called the two drug shipments in a few days, “Strike one, strike two!”

During the first four months of Fiscal Year 23, CBP officers assigned to the San Digo Field Office seized more than 26,000 pounds of methamphetamine,3,900 pounds of cocaine, and 2,800 pounds of fentanyl.