A Mexican citizen is facing federal drug charges following a massive bust at a California checkpoint last week.
The incident unfolded just after 8 p.m. on November 18 at the Commercial Port of Entry in Otay, California.
Carlos Martin Quintana-Arias had reportedly applied to drive into the United States in a tractor-trailer allegedly hauling automotive parts.
Upon inspection, authorities “detected anomalies inside the trailer” and a drug-sniffing canine signaled its own suspicions about the contents of the big rig.
Inside, officers found 6,266 packages of drugs.
“Of the total drug packages, 6,106 packages contained a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine; these packages together weighed approximately 7,976.2 kilograms (17,584.33 pounds),” the U.S. Attorney’s Office explained in a statement.
“The other 160 packages contained a substance that field-tested positive for fentanyl and weighed approximately176.42 kilograms (388.93 pounds).”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says the seizures of each drug are the largest in their respective categories in the entire country in at least two years.
“This record-breaking commercial seizure exemplifies the joint efforts of CBP and HSI employees, who work tirelessly each day to protect our Ports of Entry from the threats posed by drug cartels and other transnational criminal organizations,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz.
“Countless lives will be saved because of this historic seizure of methamphetamine and fentanyl, but make no mistake: drug cartels strive to exploit our borders to further their criminal enterprises every day.”
A detention hearing for Quintana-Arias was scheduled for November 23.
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