Border officers seize $3.9 million in drugs, some disguised in popcorn boxes

- It appeared as simple boxes of popcorn were being brought across the border, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered something totally different.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the ports of entry in the San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties over the weekend intercepted approximately 837 pounds of narcotics valued at over $3.9 million, including 150 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in popcorn boxes.

From Friday, June 2, through Sunday, June 4, CBP officers intercepted 388 pounds of methamphetamine, 162 pounds of cocaine, 32 pounds of heroin and 250 pounds of marijuana. CBP officers discovered the narcotics hidden inside vehicles in various places such as the bumper, trunk, spare tire, quarter panel and floor.

At about 11 a.m., on Sunday, a 25-year-old female U.S. citizen drove a 2010 Jeep Liberty to the San Ysidro port of entry. A CBP officer at primary inspections referred the vehicle due to the excessive amount of food noticed inside her vehicle.

Officers utilized the port's imaging system and anomalies were detected.  A CBP canine team was called to assist. The CBP canine alerted to popcorn boxes located in the rear cargo area. A search of the popcorn boxes revealed large packages of methamphetamine.

CBP officers extracted 15 packages of methamphetamine weighing 150 pounds, with a street value of more than $481,952.

"Smuggling trends continuously fluctuate and CBP officers remain vigilant in combating these attempts," said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego.

CBP officers seized all vehicle and narcotics.

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