American border authorities found $3 million of methamphetamine disguised as onions during an inspection in California, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP officers referred a 46-year-old driver who claimed to be shipping onions for further inspection, and a canine team alerted officers to possible narcotics within the shipment, according to a CBP press release.
Agents discovered about 1,200 white, onion-sized bags of meth hidden among real onions at the Otay Mesa commercial facility near San Diego, CBP reported. The meth packages reportedly weighed a total of 1,336 pounds and are worth an estimated $2.9 million.
The driver, a Mexican citizen, was arrested for attempted narcotic smuggling and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CBP reported.
“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages,” said Sidney Aki, CBP’s San Diego director of field operations, according to the press release.
“These efforts show how effective our officers are, and as a response, the lengths drug trafficking organizations are willing to go to as they try to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.,” Aki said, CBP reported. “While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”