Police dog discovers 400 pounds of cocaine in truck at U.S. border

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Drug trafficking remains a major issue along the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly discovered over 400 pounds of cocaine concealed in a tractor-trailer’s fuel tanks on Friday. This was detected during an inspection at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility as a commercial tractor-trailer was trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico. 

During the vehicle inspection, a canine unit alerted CBP officers to examine the truck’s fuel tanks. The drugs were hidden in a “non-factory compartment inside both fuel tanks of the semi-truck,” as CBP officials announced in a press release. A total of 160 packages containing 412.26 pounds of cocaine were found in this secret compartment. 

The truck driver, a 35-year-old man whose identity remains undisclosed, held a valid border crossing card, according to CBP. He was “referred for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor and empty trailer.” Subsequently, CBP handed him over to Homeland Security Investigations for further inquiry.

“The continued success of OFO canine teams in the detection of narcotics is a team effort,” said Port Director Rosa E. Hernandez. “We will continue to conduct operations, including Operation Apollo, while leveraging intelligence and investigative information to target drug traffickers’ supply chains.”

The drug discovery and contraband seizure were part of a CBP initiative known as Operation Apollo. This program, implemented by the Biden administration, 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.”

The primary aim of this initiative is to combat the fentanyl crisis affecting the nation. The program was launched in California in October 2023, according to a release by CBP, and expanded to include Arizona in April 2024. 

“The Department of Homeland Security is combating the scourge of fentanyl and other illicit synthetic narcotics with every tool at our disposal,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in October 2023. “We have stopped more fentanyl in the last two years than in the previous five years combined and continue to optimize our intelligence and field operations to stop these deadly substances from hitting our streets.” 

“At the same time, we are cracking down on the ruthless cartels and criminal organizations that are responsible,” Mayorkas added. “CBP plays a critical role, working together with our federal, state, and local partners, and this strategy builds on the tremendous talent of a workforce fiercely dedicated to protecting the American people. The scope of the fentanyl challenge our country faces underscores the need for Congress to provide CBP with the additional resources, equipment, and personnel required to continue this important work, as outlined in the Administration’s supplemental budget request.”

Christopher Tremoglie
Christopher Tremoglie
Commentary Writer. Christopher is a former intern for the Department of State and a frequent guest on radio and television. His work has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Review, and the Daily Caller and has appeared on Fox News and One America News. He graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania as a double major in political science and Russian and East European studies.

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