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 observed a 20-foot box truck cross into the United States from Mexico through a San Diego area port of entry around 5 p.m. on Thursday night.
Agents then saw several men unloading dozens of cardboard boxes from the truck and transferring them into a Dodge van in National City, California.
The men were then apprehended by agents who discovered approximately 148 bundles of methamphetamine that weighed a total of more than 5,000 pounds, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office says is "believed to be one of the largest methamphetamine seizures in San Diego County."
"This is a significant accomplishment by our law enforcement partners," said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. "Due to stellar work by law enforcement agents, the government stopped more than 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine from being distributed on our streets."
The men arrested were identified as Rafael Alzua, Mario Contreras, Ethgar Velazquez, and Galdrino Contreras.
The four men have been charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and face a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and up to life in prison along with a $10 million fine.
"This monumental seizure represents another win against drug cartels that fuel 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 cartels’ flow of drugs into our cities."
Several large seizures of methamphetamine being trafficked into the United States from Mexico have been reported over the past few months including a drug bust in Texas in May that intercepted $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.