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Four men have been charged with federal drug trafficking after authorities seized a record 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine in Southern California.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that federal agents observed a 20-foot box truck entering the United States from Mexico through a San Diego-area port of entry around 5 p.m. Thursday night.
Officers then observed several men unloading dozens of boxes from the truck and transferring them to a Dodge pickup truck in National City, California.
The men were later apprehended by officers who discovered approximately 148 meth packages weighing a total of more than 5,000 pounds, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office said is “considered one of the largest meth seizures in the world.” San Diego County”.
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“This is a significant achievement on the part of our law enforcement partners,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Thanks to the remarkable work of law enforcement officers, the government has stopped over 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 sentence of ten years in prison and up to life in prison as well as a $10 million fine.
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“This monumental seizure represents another victory against the drug cartels that fuel addiction in the United States,” said Shelly S. Howe, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “Through our excellent partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, we will continue to disrupt the flow of cartel drugs into our cities.”
Several large seizures of methamphetamine smuggled into the United States from Mexico have been reported in recent months, including a drug seizure in Texas in May that intercepted 18 million dollars worth of methamphetamine.
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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 roadside check.