In what’s being called an “unusual” level of detail in hiding narcotics, authorities have seized nearly $3 million worth of meth in a tractor-trailer onion shipment this past week.
An unnamed 46-year-old Mexican national who was driving the vehicle was arrested at the Otay Mesa vehicle facility for allegedly smuggling the drugs, per ABC, after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 unit spotted the shipment last Sunday during an exam.
At the federal facility in San Diego, the agency reveals it had found 1,197 small meth packages, which weighed up to 1,336 pounds. They were shaped like onions in an effort to blend in and had an estimated value of $2.9 million.
“This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven’t seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, in a release. “While we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment.”
This isn’t the first food-based drug bust of the year, though. Back in January, Colombian authorities discovered liquid cocaine was being hidden in a shipment of 20,000 coconuts, and was en route to Italy. The coconuts were being kept in 500 canvas bags, and a probe was then launched to determine their origin.
“Upon inspection, it was established that the water in the tropical fruit had been exchanged for liquid cocaine,” the Colombian national prosecutor’s office said in a press release. Transporting cocaine by dissolving it in water is a routine smuggling practice.