Arizona Border Patrol agents seized almost 254 pounds fentanyl worth around $3.5 million on Saturday. It is the largest seizure of fentanyl in the history of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In addition, border patrol agents also seized nearly 395 pounds of methamphetamine worth approximately $1.1 million. It is the third largest methamphetamine seize in the history of CBP.
According to the agency, a Mexican truck tried to smuggle the illegal drugs through the port of entry in Nogales. The driver’s vehicle was heavily loaded with cucumbers and he tried to conceal packages fentanyl and methamphetamine within a special floor compartment of the vehicle.
Border patrol agents stopped the truck driver at the Nogales port of entry and conducted a secondary inspection using the CBP’s Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) system. They observed “anomalies” on the trailer’s floor, prompting a CBP K-9 team to perform a search.
A canine detected an odor coming from the trailer and border patrol agents conducted a physical search. They found and removed the illegal drugs from the trailer, arrested the truck driver and turned him over to the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which charged him with two counts of possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs.
Fentanyl is a deadly opioid
During a press conference, Nogales Area Port Director Michael Humphries said, “This represents the largest fentanyl seizure in CBP history.” He noted that fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and extremely strong opioid. A quarter milligram of fentanyl is deadly.”
“Opioids are a real danger to every community in America and are having fatal consequences in many cases. This past weekend our CBP officers were able to stop an enormous amount of opioids and narcotics from hitting our streets,” he added.
Furthermore, Humphries said, “I want to express my gratitude to the CBP officers involved in this case and Nogales personnel who selflessly perform their duties with dedication, vigilance, and professionalism…even during a funding hiatus.”
On the other hand, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of HIS Nogales, Juan Mariscal, commented, “This arrest and drug seizure…is a true testament as to how our agencies work together to ensure that these deadly drugs don’t make their way into our communities.”