Police: 225 pounds of meth worth $10 million found in duffel bags on the side of the road

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TERRE HAUTE – On September 15th, a person traveling along I-70 noticed six duffle bags on the side of the road.  The motorist stopped and located what was later identified at 225 pounds of methamphetamine

The discovery was made on the side of the Interstate between Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Indiana.  Michael Gannon, the DEA Special Agent in Charge for that area said:

“On September 15, 2020, an alert citizen noticed six duffle bags in the grass area off of Interstate-70 East by mile marker 37…Upon receiving the information, members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA Terre Haute Post of Duty responded to the scene, resulting in the seizure of 225 pounds of methamphetamine.

“This amount of methamphetamine has an estimated street value of over ten million dollars and is the largest single seizure of methamphetamine for the state of Indiana and the DEA Chicago Field Division. 

Taking this much methamphetamine off the street is a huge win.  DEA commends the concerned citizen who made this seizure possible.

“The vast majority of low-cost, high-purity methamphetamine entering the United States is manufactured in industrial-scale labs in Mexico and ultimately smuggled into the United States. 

The two major transnational criminal organizations responsible for the production and trafficking of methamphetamine are the Sinaloa Cartel and Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG), which are flooding our communities and country with methamphetamine.

“It is important for these drug trafficking organizations to know that DEA and our state, local, and federal partners are using all available resources to prevent them peddling poison into our communities.”

In another recent DEA case, a federal judge recently sentenced Juan LaSalle Chase to over nine years in federal prison.  Chase was arrested and plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine.

Chase admitted that he had been conspiring with four other people to obtain and distribute the drugs in large quantities.  DEA agents advised during court proceedings that they had used wiretaps and other covert actions that showed that Chase was one of the sources of the drugs in the St. Louis area.

DEA executed a search warrant of Chase’s residence and located three kilograms of cocaine, three firearms, ammunition, and over $100,000 they were able to prove came from his drug sales.  All of the items were seized, the money was most likely taken for forfeiture.  Other search warrants at properties tied to Chase yielded large amounts of marijuana. 

In another case, out of Newark, New Jersey, the DEA arrested and charged Cequan Wharton for conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl.  Susan Gibson, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the DEA and the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Craig Carpenito reported that Wharton plead guilty to the charges.

Wharton appeared before District Judge Brian Martinotti via video conference and was presented with the charges.  When asked to enter his plea Wharton pled guilty.

Wharton admitted to working with others who were a part of the 230 Boys street gang.  This gang typically runs around Rosa Parks Boulevard and Godwin Avenue in Paterson, New Jersey.  DEA agents conducted numerous narcotic buys from Wharton and other members of his gang.

In addition, they utilized recorded telephone calls, texts, and surveillance to aid in their investigation.  Through their efforts, they were able to determine that Wharton and his group were active in the drug trafficking from at least September of 2018 through October 1st, 2019.

Each count that Wharton plead guilty to has a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million dollar fine.  He will be sentenced in federal court on February of 2021.

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In other drug seizures, here is another article from the CBP.

TECATE, CA – Remember these stories when you hear certain politicians calling to abolish CBP.

Customs and Border Protection agents seized a shipment of quartz boulders at the border crossing from Mexico into the US.

They found close to $4 million in methamphetamines and cocaine hidden inside.

And it isn’t the first time that CBP has found large quantities of drugs being smuggled into the country in a similar fashion. 

“Hard to believe, but this isn’t the first time CBP officers in California have had to actually break open rocks or other items to get at the narcotics that drug trafficking organizations have hidden inside,” said Jose Haro, officer in charge of the Tecate port of entry, in a CBP press release.

“Our officers are well-trained to notice discrepancies to stop drug shipments like this from making their way into our communities.”

Police: 225 pounds of meth worth  million found in duffel bags on the side of the road
Photo courtesy of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency

All totaled, agents found 229 packages concealed inside the large rocks.

Of those, 104 packages were methamphetamine and 125 packages of cocaine. 

Combined, the approximate 337 pounds of methamphetamine and 223 pounds of cocaine have an estimated street value of almost $3.9 million. The drugs were wrapped in electrical tape and cemented into the large slabs. 

Police: 225 pounds of meth worth  million found in duffel bags on the side of the road
Photo courtesy of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency

After finding discrepancies with the shipment, they ordered the truck to the docks where a canine unit screened the truck, testing positive for narcotics. 

CBP seized the tractor-trailer, the shipment and the narcotics. 

These large hauls are nothing new for the CBP at the southern boundary between the US and Mexico. 

On Monday, August 31st, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry seized more than 222 pounds of methamphetamine and more than five pounds of fentanyl.

In a news release, CPB stated that the incident occurred around 8 p.m. when a 71-year-old male U.S. citizen entered the Port of Entry driving a black 2004 Chrysler Sebring. As the man presented his U.S. passport to the officer at the booth, other officers proceeded to do an inspection of the car.

According to the report, during the inspection the officers noticed discrepancies with the vehicle. When the officers opened the trunk, they discovered various packages inside of two black bags. CBP officers later extracted 218 packages from the vehicle.

216 of the packages were methamphetamine and the other two packages were fentanyl with an estimated street value of more than $767,000. CBP seized the vehicle and drugs. The driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing.

In Texas, CBP officers and Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge recently arrested a 54-year-old man in connection with a failed drug smuggling attempt of alleged methamphetamine worth $2,530,00.

The man is a legal permanent resident (LPR) Mexican citizen from Pharr, Texas. In the news release, CBP reported that after the initial questioning, CBP officers referred then man for further questioning. Officers then conducted a secondary examination where they located 24 packages of alleged methamphetamine hidden within the tires for the SUV.

CBP officers seized the drugs and the vehicle. They arrested the driver who was turned over to the custody of agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who will continue the investigation. Port Director Carlos Rodriguez said:

“Just as smuggling organizations continue with their efforts of attempting to bring dangerous drugs into our country, our frontline officers counter those attempts through a steadfast commitment to keep our communities safe.”

On August 20th, CBP announced that CBP and HSI agents discovered an El Paso stash house containing 32 illegal aliens. In the news release, CBP stated that El Paso Border Patrol Agents had suspected a smuggling scheme when they encountered three illegal aliens near the El Paso International Airport.

Their arrest led to the discovery of additional aliens crammed inside a stash house located in the Lower Valley. CBP officials said that a U.S. citizen smuggler and aliens from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Cuba were arrested. A total of 36 people were taken into custody.

Investigations of the operation revealed that the aliens may have entered the U.S. near Mt. Cristo Rey in Sunland Park, New Mexico. El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said:

“This incident demonstrates that our region is being exploited regularly by transnational criminal organizations who continue to use humans for profit regardless of the inherent risks.”

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a joint investigation helped seize undeclared currency totaling $27 million found inside boxes that were on their way to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. In a news release, CBP said that during outbound inspections for cargo on board the vessel MV Norma H II Voyage 818, a CBP K-9 altered to some pallets containing home moving boxes.

When CBP officers opened one of the boxes, they discovered US currency wrapped in vacuum-sealed packages. Further inspection of the pallets revealed a total of 34 cargo boxes containing the rest of the undeclared currency.

Director if Field Operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gregory Alvarez said:

“Legal currency can be transported if properly declared under U.S. law. Transnational criminal organizations seek to conceal proceeds and move it as part of their criminal activities.”

He added:

“We remain committed to working with other federal and local law enforcement partners to detect and deter smuggling attempts throughout the Caribbean.”

Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about CBP and their continued efforts to stop smuggling:

HIDALGO, TX – What border crisis?  How about this one?

Law Enforcement presence has been dramatically increased in and around ports of entry into the United States since President Trump was elected. 

President Trump makes his views very clear on the matter of border security for many reasons – not the least of which is the amount of drugs being brought in from Mexico.  Here’s a prime example of why.

On August 4th, US Customs and Border Protection arrested two women for transporting over $3 million worth of methamphetamine into the country. 

 

The Office of Field Operations of the United States Customs and Border Protection released information of a major drug bust that occurred at the Hidalgo International Bridge. 

On August 1st, officers stopped and decided to further inspect a red Chevy Equinox driven by a US Citizen.  Upon further inspection they located methamphetamine which was hidden in the gas tank of the vehicle. 

When the liquid methamphetamine was removed, officers determined that that there was a total of 78.84 pounds.  The approximate street value for this bust is over $1.5 million dollars.

On the same day, another woman who was driving a Volkswagen Tiguan was referred for further inspection.  When officers examined the vehicle, a Police Canine detected the odor of drugs emanating from the gas tank.  Officers manually searched the tank and located another 74.56 pounds of methamphetamine.  The street value for this bust was almost $1.5 million. 

Port Director Carlos Rodriguez said:

“We are seeing a surge in methamphetamines and it is up to our CBP frontline officers to prevent those illicit smuggling attempts and keep these dangerous substances from crossing our borders.” 

What initially caused officers concern with both vehicles was not listed in the reporting and neither were their names.  Both women were turned over to federal authorities for further processing and investigation.

In July, Law Enforcement Today reported on the increase in drugs coming into the United States along the Mexico border.  US Customs and Border Protection announced that officers had seized over 43,000 pounds of illegal drugs at ports of entry in California.  The street value for those drugs alone were close to $92 million dollars. 

A breakdown of those seizures included 34,685 pounds of marijuana, 7,661 pounds of methamphetamine, 635 pounds of cocaine, 166 pounds of heroin, and 165 pounds of fentanyl.  CBP officers stated that these drugs were smuggled in various ways into the United States which included hiding the drugs in or on a person or secret compartments in vehicles.

Another incident reported on in Law Enforcement Today referenced a semi-truck that had been stopped by CBP in California and referred for further inspection.  Officers did a manual search of the semi which revealed two large duffel bags.  Inside the duffel bags were 286 pounds of heroin and 26 pounds of fentanyl. 

What border crisis? 300 pounds of narcotics seized at entry point from Mexico

Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego said, “Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we continue to see attempts to move hard narcotics across the border and into the US communities.  CBP officers at all of our nation’s legal border crossing remain on the job and vigilant during these unprecedented times.”

Acting Customs and Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan acknowledges the amount of drugs coming into the country from Mexico is alarming.  CBP estimates the street value of the drugs seized so far is over $92 million dollars. 

In addition to the drug concern, Morgan is also is concerned that people entering the country may also be infected with COVID-19.  People coming into the country may well intensify the spread of the virus to unsuspecting Americans. 

President Trump announced his concern with the amount of drugs coming across the border from Mexico into the United States when he announced his candidacy for President.  The democrats of course said that this was incorrect and just his way of being racist.  It appears that the facts are proving the democrats wrong.

CBP makes bust of over 800 lbs of meth valued at over $16M – in a shipment of broccoli

Pharr, Texas – A recent bust by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Harr International Bridge cargo facility made an enormous methamphetamine bust valued at over $16,000,000 that was reportedly concealed in a shipment of fresh broccoli.

Officers from the CBP’s Office of Field Operations were working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility on August 3rd, when a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen pulled up in a tractor-trailer that contained a what appeared to be nothing more than a commercial shipment of some broccoli.

Upon the tractor-trailer pulling up, a CBP officer referred the vehicle over to secondary for further inspection. After utilizing a non-intrusive imaging system inspection, officers realized there was more to this broccoli than a natural source of dietary fiber.

The NII system founds there were suspected packages of narcotics embedded within the broccoli pallet, which revealed 1,561 packages of suspected methamphetamine that weighed nearly 805 pounds.

Carlos Rodriguez, who serves as the Port Director of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, stated the following about the seizure:

“This is a substantial amount of hard narcotics that our officers have detected and seized from drug trafficking organizations attempting to smuggle these drugs across our border. By preventing this drug load from reaching the U.S., CBP advances its border security mission, protecting our citizens and communities.”

Packages containing 804.69 pounds of methamphetamine seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge.
Packages containing 804.69 pounds of methamphetamine seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

After seizing the narcotics, the driver was subsequently arrested, and the tractor-trailer was also seized. Agent from Homeland Security Investigations are said to be continuing the investigation regarding the bust.

 

 

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