TECATE, Calif. — Federal agents on Monday intercepted a shipment of boulders at a California border crossing that had 229 packages of methamphetamine and cocaine worth nearly $4 million hidden inside, authorities said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said a truck driver arrived at the border crossing in Tecate with a shipment identified by trucking manifest as several tons of beach pebbles and stones. The agent inspecting the shipment sent the driver and truck to the dock.
“At the dock, a CBP officer noticed discrepancies with the shipment,” authorities said in a news release. “A CBP canine team screened the shipment, which resulted positive for narcotics.”
Officers searched the truck, the trailer and the cargo and decided to break open several large quartz boulders included in the shipment.
“Inside, officers found packages wrapped with black electrical tape, which had been cemented inside of the stones,” the news release said.
In all, federal agents found 104 packages of meth and 125 packages of cocaine. The 560 pounds of drugs are estimated to have a street value of $3.9 million.
“Hard to believe, but this isn’t the first time CBP officers in California have had to actually break open rocks or other items to get at the narcotics that drug trafficking organizations have hidden inside,” Jose Haro, the officer in charge of the Tecate port of entry, said in a statement. “Our officers are well-trained to notice discrepancies to stop drug shipments like this from making their way into our communities.”
Border agents routinely seize drugs and encounter other criminal activity as they process millions of travelers crossing the borders into the U.S. each year. According to statistics provided by CBP officials,