Mexican National Caught With 154lbs. Of Meth In CA

A Mexican citizen was apprehended in California after bringing 154 pounds of methamphetamine in many duffel bags over the Mexican border.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), officers from the El Centro Sector of the Border Patrol stopped a beige sedan they saw while patrolling Interstate 10 near Dillon Road in Indio at around 5 a.m. The driver declined the request to search the vehicle made by a K-9 unit. Agents were notified to inspect the vehicle’s inside when the police dog sniffed around its outside.

As is typical for the transportation of illegal substances, agents discovered five duffel bags containing several bundles wrapped in cellophane. The presence of methamphetamine was confirmed by testing a sample retrieved from the parcels. The CBP calculated that the 154 lb. of the material was worth $278,000 on the street.

Arrested was the driver, who was determined to be a Mexican national in possession of a border crossing card. His entrance advantages, according to officials, were withdrawn.

Operation Apollo, in which federal, state, and local authorities are working together to address the menace of fentanyl and other illegal synthetic drugs, included the border officers on patrol. In fiscal 2023, authorities confiscated around 140,400 pounds of meth, and so far in fiscal 2024, they have seized approximately 43,000 pounds of meth.

The seizure of an estimated 2.5 metric tons of methamphetamine from a box truck that had just crossed the U.S.–Mexico border led to the arrest and charging of four individuals with federal drug trafficking violations in July 2022.

The event took place in National City, California. According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, a commercial 20-foot box truck allegedly entered the country at the Otay Mesa Commercial Port of Entry.

Among those identified as defendants in the lawsuit are Ethgar Velazquez, Mario and Galdrino Contreras, and Rafael Alzua. They may spend the next decade to a lifetime behind bars on meth distribution conspiracy charges, with a fine of up to $10 million slapped on top. More than five thousand pounds of methamphetamine are thought to have a street worth in the millions of dollars.