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Mexican national arrested after trying to smuggle 154 pounds of meth into California
Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Mexican national arrested after trying to smuggle 154 pounds of meth into California

A Mexican man was caught after trying to smuggle several duffel bags filled with more than 150 pounds of meth into California on Monday, according to Fox News Digital.

Agents with the El Centro Sector Border Patrol zeroed in on a beige sedan while keeping an eye on Interstate 10 around Dillon Road. They pulled the vehicle over around 5:00 a.m. A U.S. Border Patrol K-9 unit was on the scene, and officers asked the driver to consent to have the vehicle searched.

When the man refused to have his vehicle searched, the K-9 carried out an exterior inspection of the vehicle. The K-9 alerted officers to the interior of the vehicle, where they eventually discovered several duffel bags full of meth wrapped in cellophane packages. U.S. Customs and Border Protection noted that this is a common way for drug dealers to transport narcotics.

After a sample of the substance was taken, officers confirmed that there was meth in the packages. The total weight of all the drugs discovered in the search was 154 pounds, which could amount to $278,000 worth of narcotics.

The driver of the vehicle, who was a Mexican citizen with a border crossing card, was quickly arrested and his entry benefits revoked, according to reports. The vehicle and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency. The statement did not mention where the man planned to take the narcotics or if any other individuals were involved.

The effort to crack down on drug trafficking is known as Operation Apollo, which was initially set up to slow the spread of fentanyl throughout the U.S. Courthouse News Service reported in October 2023 that the task force was a "Southern California counter-fentanyl joint operation with a focus on intelligence collection," adding that it was made up mostly of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

“As synthetic drugs continue to devastate individuals across the United States, the operation will also look to uncover and better understand the tactics, techniques, and procedures utilized by transnational criminal organizations to procure, produce, store, and transport fentanyl and fentanyl-related materials throughout the country," the agency said last year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reported that drug traffickers generally distribute fentanyl by the kilogram, which is reportedly enough to kill 500,000 people.

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