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Five biggest Mexico border drug busts of 2020

Almost $400M in narcotics seized from tractor-trailers at border during 2020

CBP Agents working at the port of entry in El Paso, Texas, seized 1,543 pounds of liquid methamphetamine on Feb. 12. The meth had a street value of $30 million. (Photo: CBP)

Almost $400 million in narcotics were seized from trucks attempting to cross from Mexico into the U.S. during 2020.

Everything from shipments of tomatoes, avocados, jalapenos and broccoli, to loads of cobblestones, lighting fixtures and electronic equipment were used in attempted smuggling cases at the border.

Here are five of the biggest U.S.-Mexico border drug busts this year.

1. Mexican police find $62M in drugs in abandoned truck near border

Mexican authorities found 25,000 pounds worth of narcotics hidden inside a tractor-trailer that was abandoned just south of the Mexican border on Dec. 6. The drugs found included 8,810 pounds of fentanyl and 13,216 pounds of heroin.

2. CBP finds $61M worth of drugs in loads of cactus and limes

Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found a combined $61 million worth of methamphetamine and marijuana on Aug. 7, in two separate shipments of cactus and lime from Mexico at the Otay Mesa border crossing.

Drug seizures by agents during 2020 included methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and marijuana. (Photo: CBP)

3. $37M in meth discovered in fresh tomato shipment

Agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility in South Texas discovered 1,853 pounds of crystal meth on Dec. 19, in a shipment of fresh tomatoes from Mexico.

4. $31M in methamphetamine hidden in truck’s roof

Agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge seized 1,527 pounds of methamphetamine on July 9. The meth was concealed in the roof of a tractor-trailer carrying imported fresh onions from Mexico.

5. Truck carrying $30 million in liquid meth seized in El Paso

Agents working at the Ysleta port of entry in El Paso, Texas, seized 1,543 pounds of liquid methamphetamine on Feb. 12. The methamphetamine was hidden in a shipment of cleaning supplies being imported from Mexico.

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One Comment

  1. Silver Damsen

    As an anti-prohibition activist, it is interesting that these busts are being made. However, I think what they show is what a huge failure the entire effort of attempting to prohibit illegal drugs from Mexico from entering the USA is. It is random, if a shipment is caught. Overwhelming most illegal drugs get through. And having a restricted supply increases the money that sellers can demand in exchange for the goods. So, prohibition works to decrease small illegal drug sellers and to keep the biggest cartels on top. In short, drug prohibition creates drug kingpins.

    In addition, decreasing the supply of illegal drugs functions primarily to increase the cost that consumers pay which with illegal drugs means that one of the prices they pay is in increased health risk by having a heavily diluted and unsafe drug supply. So, one of the “costs” of prohibition is death of the consumer.
    And the worst thing about prohibition is that USA tax payers pays to kill its own citizens and to create crime while they make drug lords extraordinarily wealthy and increases the corruption of politicians and law enforcement in Mexico and the USA.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]