Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working in Laredo, Texas, discovered nearly $37 million worth of meth in a commercial shipment of tomatoes from Mexico.
CBP officers assigned to the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge — an international bridge that crosses over the Rio Grande river and connects Laredo, Texas to the Mexican town of Colombia, Nuevo León — on Wednesday encountered a 2007 Freightliner tractor. Upon a canine and imaging system inspection, a massive discovery was made.
Included in the shipment of tomatoes was 654 packages containing about 1,847 pounds of methamphetamine — a load that carries a street value of $36,957,914, according to CBP.
“Officers at the Laredo Port of Entry have heightened their enforcement strategy when targeting these high-risk commodities, successfully disrupting the flow of deadly narcotics from entering our country,” said Laredo Port Director Gregory Alvarez.
“This record breaking drug bust was an exceptional operation that highlights CBP’s commitment in confronting the drug abuse epidemic,” Alvarez added.
CBP has taken over custody of the narcotics, trailer, and truck. The case has since been handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for further review.
The Trump administration earlier in March declared a complete ban on all non-essential travel at our northern and southern borders. However, in a bid to keep the wheels of the economy turning, the administration is allowing commercial trade to continue through Canada and Mexico. (RELATED: More Suspected Counterfeit Coronavirus Test Kits Are Being Seized At Airports)
“Let me be clear that none of these agreements apply to lawful trade or commerce. Essential commercial activities will not be impacted,” acting secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said during the announcement, adding that a “secure” and “strong” economic supply chain will still move across both borders.
Despite the lockdowns across the country, CBP officers are still working to protect the country from illegal entries and — as Wednesday demonstrated — the introduction of illicit narcotics.
CBP leaders earlier in March said they are taking the necessary precautions to protect employees in their agency from contracting coronavirus, including an ample supply of perennial protective equipment (PPR) for agents assigned along the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
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