Avocadon't smuggle $6.6 million of drugs in produce

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-15 Tue 08:21
500Foods shared this story from The Produce News | Today's Headlines.

avocadontU.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted a load of hard narcotics consisting of alleged methamphetamine and heroin that was concealed within a commercial shipment of produce arriving from Mexico. The estimated street value of the seizure is $6.67 million.

“Significant narcotics interdiction enforcement actions like these have direct and immediate impact on the smuggling organizations who operate in our area,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, port of Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas. “CBP Field Operations maintains a robust enforcement posture while continuing to facilitate and process legitimate trade and travel, which is a delicate balance.”

On Sep. 12, 2020, a tractor/trailer hauling a commercial shipment of avocados arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility and a CBP officer referred the conveyance for further inspection, which included the utilization of non-intrusive imaging equipment. The thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering suspected narcotics hidden within the trailer. Officers removed 48 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 326 pounds and one package of alleged heroin weighing 2.41 pounds.

CBP seized the narcotics, the tractor/trailer and arrested the 40-year-old truck driver, a male Mexican citizen from Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations took him into custody and continue with the investigations.