Drug Bust in Jalapeno Paste Shipment

The street value of the drugs seized is estimated at over $10 million.

Drug Bust in Jalapeno Paste Shipment

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers made an interesting discovery at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility. A shipment, seemingly innocent with its contents listed as jalapeno paste, held a shady secret.

A 28-year-old male driver, holding a valid border crossing card, steered a commercial tractor-trailer into the facility on December 13. However, his cargo was about to unveil a massive narcotics haul.

Key Discovery:

  • K-9 Unit Alert: The CBP's trained dogs signaled, leading officers to a more thorough check.
  • Hidden Packages: Hidden within the jalapeno paste, officers found 349 packages containing a staggering 3,161.43 pounds of methamphetamine and 522.50 pounds of cocaine.
Image Source: U.S. CBP


Rosa Hernandez, Otay Mesa Port Director, highlighted the vital role of K-9 teams in such operations. This bust forms part of a larger effort, including Operation Apollo and strategies to combat synthetic drugs.


  • Seizure: The narcotics, along with the vehicle, were seized.
  • Estimated Value: The street value of the drugs is estimated at over $10 million.
  • Driver's Fate: The driver was handed over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.
Image source: U.S. CBP

In context, this seizure is part of CBP's ongoing efforts in narcotics control. In November alone, the San Diego Field Office seized over 14,000 pounds of narcotics.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Press Release

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