Border Patrol seized nearly $750,000 in methamphetamine near Indio, California. The narcotics were seized from Mexican cartel smugglers after K-9 alerted to the illicit cargo concealed within two separate passenger vehicles.
As Border Patrol struggles to deal with a huge increase in migrant crossings, cartel narcotics smugglers are using the opportunity to sneak across the border.
On July 10, agents discovered a vehicle stopped near Interstate 10 at the California State Highway 86 interchange. Upon further investigation, the agents arrested a U.S. citizen after finding 131 vacuum-sealed packages of methamphetamine. The narcotics weighed in at 164 pounds and had a street value of nearly $450,000.
In another incident on Monday, a 62-year-old American drove into a Border Patrol checkpoint in the same area in a black Acura. Agents discovered nearly 100 pounds of meth. The street value of this load is estimated to be $271,000, according to authorities.
Border Patrol agents referred both cases to the DEA. The DEA notes that domestic production of meth is on the decline due to tight restrictions placed on imported precursors.
In Mexico, cartels import ingredients mainly from China and India.
According to the CDC, methamphetamine overdose deaths in the United States have risen steadily since 1999 and are second only to fentanyl. In 2019, the CDC estimated more than 15,000 psycho-stimulant (primarily methamphetamine) overdose deaths occurred in the United States.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.