Hot stuff: $10 million worth of narcotics found in jalapeno paste shipment

Hot stuff: $10 million worth of narcotics found in jalapeno paste shipment

(As originally published with additional photos, Fri, December 15th 2023, 3:01 PM EST)

OTAY MESA, Calif. (TND) — The feds at a border crossing near San Diego discovered more than $10 million worth of hard narcotics hidden in a shipment of jalapeno paste.

Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility said they referred a man driving a commercial tractor-trailer from Mexico with the shipment for further examination, despite him holding a valid border crossing card.

Then, a K-9 unit screened the shipment and alerted officers to examine the trailer even more closely.

That’s when officers got 349 suspicious packages from vats of jalapeno paste. The contents were tested and identified as methamphetamine with a weight of 3,161.43 pounds and cocaine with a weight of 522.50 pounds.

Hot stuff: $10 million worth of narcotics found in jalapeno paste shipment
Officers said they eventually found this in a commercial tractor-trailer from Mexico, despite the driver holding a valid border crossing card, Dec. 13, 2023. (U.S. Customs & Border Protection)

Its estimated street value is $10,430,000.

CBP officers took the narcotics and tractor-trailer, and turned the driver over to Homeland Security Investigations.

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