Four men have been charged with federal drug trafficking after authorities seized a record-breaking 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine in Southern California.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release that federal agents saw a 20-foot truck entering the United States from Mexico through a port of entry in San Diego around 5 p.m. Thursday night.
Officers then watched several men unload dozens of cardboard boxes from the truck and load them into a Dodge van in National City, California.
The men were then apprehended by officers who discovered about 148 bundles of methamphetamine weighing more than 5,000 pounds in total, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office said is “one of the largest methamphetamine seizures in San Diego County.”
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“This is an important achievement by our law enforcement partners,” said US attorney Randy Grossman. “Thanks to the amazing work of law enforcement, the government has stopped the spread of more than 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine on our streets.”
The arrested men were identified as Rafael Alzua, Mario Contreras, Ethgar Velazquez and Galdrino Contreras.
The four men have been charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and will receive a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, along with a $10 million fine.
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“This landmark seizure represents another victory against drug cartels fueling addiction in the United States,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe. “Because of our great partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, we will continue to disrupt the drug flow from the cartels into our cities.”
Several major seizures of methamphetamine smuggled into the United States from Mexico have been reported in recent months, including a drug bust in Texas in May involving $18 million worth of methamphetamine†
This week, a 27-year-old man in Yuma, Arizona was arrested after authorities discovered nearly 100 pounds of methamphetamine in his truck during a traffic stop.