During an initial inspection of the vehicle, an officer directed the driver and shipment for further examination by the agency’s K-9 team, the statement said.
One of the detector dogs alerted shipping agents, who discovered 1,197 packages of methamphetamine — about 1,336 pounds — with an estimated street value of $2.9 million, according to CBP.
The packages, which were mixed with the cargo of onions in sacks, “were shaped into small globes with a white coating, designed to blend in with the onions with which they were hidden,” the statement said.
Officers arrested the driver, an unidentified Mexican citizen, for the alleged narcotics smuggling attempt and released him to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) for “subsequent action,” according to CBP. They also seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics, the agency said.
“It was not only a clever attempt to try to smuggle narcotics, an attempt I had never seen before, but also to take time to package narcotics in these little packages, designed to look like to onions,” said Sidney Aki, CBP’s director of field operations in San Diego.
“These efforts show how effective our officers are and, in response, how far drug trafficking organizations are willing to go when trying to smuggle narcotics into the United States,” the statement continued. “Although we have certainly seen narcotics in products before, it is unusual for us to see this level of detail in the cover-up.”