Border Patrol agents at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego have their work cut out for them, since billions of dollars of freight travel to and from Mexico at this crossing. Tractor-trailers full of goods can easily be modified to carry drugs. Knowing this, officers were suspicious of a1996 Freightliner semi-trailer with a manifested shipment of furniture that tried to cross the border on May 15, 2015.
Fortunately, this port has a high-tech imaging system, and the border patrol officers took advantage of the system to examine the truck. They detected anomalies in the pallets of furniture and throughout the trailer. A K-9 officer confirmed their suspicions and identified the pallets as containing drugs.
These officers then discovered 1,162 bundles of pot inside boxes and behind a fake wall built in the front of the trailer. These bundles totaled 12,657 pounds of marijuana that was worth about $7.6 million. The truck driver was a Mexican citizen who lived in Baja California.
In addition to handling commercial freight, the Otay Mesa port is a popular crossing point for passenger vehicles. Border patrol officers use drug detection dogs to screen cars as they wait in line at this passenger port.
In a separate incident the following day, a K-9 officer reacted to a 2007 Chrysler Sebring that was waiting in line for inspection. Border patrol agents took the car and its driver to a secure area to examine them. After a thorough search, these officers found 32 packages of heroin in both of the car’s rocker panels. They estimated the 49 pounds of drugs to be worth more than $580,000 on the street. The driver was a male US citizen from Las Vegas.
In both cases, the drivers were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and then transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.