By Alaa Elassar, CNN
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over $1.1 million worth of narcotics hidden in the panels of a car driving into California from Mexico, the agency said.
Federal officers stopped a 43-year-old man entering the US from Mexico at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry on June 16 after drugs were detected by a CBP human and narcotic detector dog, according to a news release Thursday.
The man was driving a 2011 Lincoln MKZ containing about 89 pounds of narcotics, which included fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine concealed in packages hidden throughout the car’s “quarter panels, rear bumper, firewall, and rocker panels,” CBP said.
The driver of the vehicle was “turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations,” CBP said.
“CBP officers are the front-line of stopping these types of dangerous drugs from entering into the U.S.,” said Anne Maricich, CBP deputy director of field operations in San Diego. “I am proud of our officers, and as a result of their keen awareness and collaborative efforts, these narcotics will not reach our communities.”
The unprecedented rise in drug overdose deaths in the United States continues, having reached another record high, according to new provisional data published in April by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC estimates that 106,854 people died due to drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending November 2021. Annual drug overdose deaths have more than doubled over the past six years, jumping 16% over the past year alone.
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