Million-Dollar Drug Seizures in Shipments of Jalapeños and Limes

Agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations at three different border crossings with Mexico seized hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine concealed in shipments of jalapeños and limes.

Customs and Border Protection reported that the drug seizures, valued at nearly $20 million, occurred over the past month.

The most recent one occurred Oct. 14, when CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility were checking the cargo of a truck carrying jalapeño peppers from Mexico.

A CBP officer referred the vehicle for further inspection, including non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment and examination by a canine team. As a result of the physical review of the shipment, agents removed 9,426 packages that filled 72 buckets with a total weight of 1,205.48 pounds of suspected methamphetamine concealed in the shipment.

The methamphetamine contraband was valued at $10.7 million.

Related Article: What is the FDA’s Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food?

“Our CBP officers continue to stop massive quantities of narcotics at our cargo facilities, all while facilitating legal commerce coming into the country,” said Carlos Rodriguez, Director of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

On Sept. 24, at the Rio Grande City port of entry, CBP agents prevented the access of a significant cocaine shipment concealed in a shipment of serrano and jalapeño peppers.

After a thorough examination, which included using a non-intrusive inspection system, CBP officers discovered 35 packages containing 80.55 pounds of suspected cocaine inside the trailer. The narcotics had a street value of $1.1 million.

During a secondary inspection of a 2014 Freightliner cargo truck carrying a shipment of limes on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, officers found drug contraband.

Inspecting with a non-intrusive screening system and canine units, CBP officers discovered 384 packages containing 869.5 pounds of suspected methamphetamine inside the trailer. The narcotics had a street value of $7.7 million.

“Our front-line agents continue to deploy an effective combination of inspection expertise and technology, and the result this time was $7.7 million worth of methamphetamine in a shipment of limes,” said Laredo Port of Entry Director Albert Flores.