Border drug seizures Methamphetamine
Wrapped drug packages seized at the border. Photo credit: Courtesy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A trucker who was caught with record amounts of two drugs inside his truck at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison.

Carlos Martin Quintana-Arias, a Mexican resident whose age was not disclosed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, was arrested on Nov. 18, 2021, after 17,584 pounds of methamphetamine and 389 pounds of fentanyl were seized from the trailer of his truck.

Quintana-Arias pleaded guilty earlier this year to importation of a controlled substance.

According to prosecutors, both amounts mark the largest seizures of either drug in the entire U.S. in either 2021 or 2022 thus far.

Authorities allege Quintana-Arias’ manifest indicated his trailer contained auto body parts, but “anomalies” were detected in the trailer by both an X-Ray machine and drug dog on scene.

Officials found more than 6,200 packages of drugs inside the trailer, which also contained “a few” automotive body parts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Of those packages, more than 6,100 contained substances that tested positive for methamphetamine.

The remaining 160 contained substances that tested positive for fentanyl.

City News Service


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Ellen Bullock