CBP officers reel in methamphetamine found in ice chest full of fish

CALEXICO, Calif., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers from the San Diego Field Office seized several packages of methamphetamine concealed within an ice chest of fish Sunday.

The incident occurred at around 8:39 p.m. at the Calexico West Port of Entry, when CBP officers encountered a 34-year-old man driving a 2021 sedan through the vehicle SENTRI lane. After initial inspection, CBP officers referred the driver and vehicle for further examination.

In the secondary inspection area, a non-intrusive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system to screen the vehicle and observed irregularities within an ice chest found in the vehicle’s trunk. A CBP K-9 team responded and alerted to the presence of narcotics.

CBP officers discovered and extracted a total of 25 packages from the ice chest. The contents of the packages were tested and identified as methamphetamine with a total weight of 47.13 pounds.

Event photo; description located in caption.

CBP officers discover packages of methamphetamine concealed inside an ice chest filled with fish.

The subject was turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation. The narcotics and vehicle were seized by CBP officers. 

Event photo; description located in caption.

Dozens of packages of methamphetamine were extracted from the ice chest and seized by CBP officers.

“Drug traffickers will go to great lengths in attempt to deceive our officers,” said Roque Caza, Calexico Area Port Director. “I’m proud of our highly trained officers working diligently every day to combat these dangerous drugs that have claimed so many lives.”

These seizures are the result of Operation Apollo, a holistic counter-fentanyl effort that began on October 26, 2023 in southern California, and expanded to Arizona on April 10, 2024. Operation Apollo 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. 

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