U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its port officers in Nogales seized more than $1.4 million worth of hard drugs that had been hidden inside hollowed-out floor tiles – a smuggling tactic that’s been appearing with some regularity in recent months.
The most recent bust occurred on Monday evening, CBP said in a news release, after a 43-year-old Mexican man was referred for a secondary inspection at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry when he tried to enter the country in a pickup truck.
During the inspection, officers discovered 85 packages stashed in the boxes of floor tiles the man was hauling. The packages turned out to contain 89 pounds of fentanyl pills, 33 pounds of heroin and a half-pound of cocaine.
The man, whose name was not released, was arrested and turned over to federal investigators, CBP said.
On June 8, a 63-year-old man driving a pickup truck was busted at a local port of entry with 71 pounds of fentanyl, 25 pounds of heroin and more than six pounds of cocaine hidden in hollowed-out floor tiles. The value of that load was estimated at more than $1 million.
On May 4, CBP officers in Nogales seized 172 pounds of methamphetamine, three pounds of fentanyl and one pound of heroin that were concealed in boxes of floor tiles, as well as in the spare tire of the vehicle transporting them.