Border agents in Arizona made the largest seizure of fentanyl in the agency’s history, officials said Thursday.
Customs and Border Protection officers made the discovery on Saturday when they stopped a 26-year-old man at the Nogales border checkpoint. More than 250 pounds of the deadly drug in pill form worth $3.5 million was found hidden in the floor compartment of the driver’s truck, which was carrying cucumbers, Nogales CBP Port Director Michael Humphries said at a press conference.
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) January 31, 2019
Authorities also found 395 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $1.1 million.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Juan Mariscal said the suspect, who has not been named, has been charged with two federal counts of possession with intent. The investigation is ongoing, he added.
Saturday’s seizure was double the size of the previous record of 118 pounds of fentanyl in Nebraska in 2017, NBC News reported.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump said drugs from the southern border were “pouring” into the U.S. He used it as an excuse to demand money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that would cost taxpayers $5.5 billion.
“Remember drugs,” Trump said in the Rose Garden to reporters earlier this month. “The drugs are pouring into this country. They don’t go through the ports of entry. When they do, they sometimes get caught.”
In this case, the largest seizure ever came from a port of entry. And in 2018, the majority of drugs found by authorities came primarily from legal crossing points.
“The smugglers, they don’t stop,” Mariscal said at the press conference. “Whether the government is open or not, they don’t stop.”
One kilogram of the drug can produce 1 million overdoses, according to Mariscal.
CORRECTION: The headline in a previous version of this story misstated the agency as Border Patrol.