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Nearly 50 lbs. of meth found in ice chest full of dead fish as car tries to cross into US from Mexico

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(NEW YORK) — Almost 50 pounds of methamphetamine found in an ice chest full of fish has been discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers during a routine screening of a vehicle trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

The discovery took place on Sunday evening at approximately 8:39 p.m. when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers encountered a 34-year-old man who was driving a 2021 sedan through the SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) lane as he was trying to enter the United States at the Calexico West Port of Entry in southern California and authorities referred the driver and vehicle for further examination, according to a statement released by CBP officials on Wednesday.

“In the secondary inspection area, a non-intrusive inspection of the vehicle was conducted,” authorities said. “CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system to screen the vehicle and observed irregularities within an ice chest found in the vehicle’s trunk. A CBP K-9 team responded and alerted to the presence of narcotics.”

Once CBP officers had access to the vehicle, they discovered and extracted a total of 25 packages from the ice chest, the contents of which were tested and identified as methamphetamine, with a total weight of 47.13 pounds.

The subject was immediately turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation and the narcotics from the vehicle were seized, CBP said.

“Drug traffickers will go to great lengths in attempt to deceive our officers,” said Roque Caza, Calexico Area Port Director. “I’m proud of our highly trained officers working diligently every day to combat these dangerous drugs that have claimed so many lives.”

These seizures are the result of Operation Apollo, which CBP says is a “holistic counter-fentanyl effort that began on October 26, 2023 in southern California, and expanded to Arizona on April 10, 2024.”

Operation Apollo focuses on intelligence collection and partnerships, and utilizes local CBP field assets augmented by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to boost resources, increase collaboration, and target the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States, CBP said.

The identity of the suspect involved in this case has not been released and the investigation is currently ongoing.

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