NewsSpicy sting: $10 million drug haul concealed in jalapeño paste intercepted in San Diego

Spicy sting: $10 million drug haul concealed in jalapeño paste intercepted in San Diego

Vats with jalapeno paste, in which drugs were found.
Vats with jalapeno paste, in which drugs were found.
Images source: © CBP | CBP

2:36 PM EST, December 18, 2023

The incident took place in San Diego, California, where border officers inspected a driver transporting jalapeño paste. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the man was handling the goods via a tractor-trailer. The 28-year-old, despite owning valid documents, was directed, along with his vehicle, towards the inspection area.

The CBP's K-9 unit scrutinized the contents of the truck trailer and the interior of the vats filled with jalapeño paste. During the inspection, they made a remarkable discovery. As reported by the New York Post, this is how the suspicious packages were captioned by the border guard in a post on Service X (formerly known as Twitter).

The inspection led to the discovery of 349 suspicious packages in the barrels of jalapeño paste. Authorities conducted tests which indicated they contained over 3086.47 lbs of methamphetamine and approximately 522.5 lbs of cocaine. In a statement, The Californian Customs Service estimated the street value of the confiscated drugs at about $10.4 million.

Border patrol officers have seized the drugs and the vehicle. The 28-year-old driver was turned over to the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, though further details regarding the detainee were not disclosed.

"Our K-9 teams are an invaluable part of our drug enforcement process. They provide trustworthy detection capabilities," stated Rosa Hernandez, Director of Otay Mesa. The official emphasized that the authorities are dedicated to protecting citizens and hindering the progression of international criminal organizations.

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