U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted a smuggling attempt in California last week consisting of 900,000 fentanyl pills hidden inside porcelain sinks, according to a statement.
On June 26, at around 3:30 p.m. a 45-year-old male Mexican arrived at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in the United States in a white 2000 Ford Cargo van carrying two porcelain sinks.
While the driver of the vehicle gave border officers a valid border crossing card and shipping manifest, a CBP officer referred him to a secondary inspection.
During the screening, CBP officers, using a port imaging system, found anomalies within the man’s shipment. A canine detection team alerted the officers to the two porcelain sinks.
Upon further examination, officers found a total of 12 packages containing around 858,000 blue fentanyl pills. The narcotics packages weighed a total of 189.15 pounds and had an estimated street value of $2,574,000.
CBP officers seized the narcotics, the shipment, and the cargo van. The Mexican driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, the statement added.
“Narcotics traffickers will try new and innovative ways to smuggle dangerous drugs across our borders, but CBP officers are always on their toes,” said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa port of entry.
“Thanks to our officers’ experience, this interception prevented hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills from ever reaching our communities,” she added.
So far in fiscal year 2023, which began in October of last year, CBP officers have seized more than 20,000 pounds of fentanyl in the U.S.-Mexico border, CBP data shows. According to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the U.S. has seized more fentanyl in the past two years than the previous five combined.