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Feds say discovery of 2,200 pounds of meth at border crossing among largest seizures in San Diego County

Federal officers in San Diego found 2,200 pounds of methamphetamine last week in a van at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing — believed to be among the largest seizures of the drug in the region, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The stop at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry also turned up 53 pounds of fentanyl, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

“This is huge quantity of dangerous drugs that is no longer destined for the streets of San Diego and beyond,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement. “A seizure of this magnitude saves lives.”

According to federal court documents, the drugs were found in a van being driven by a Tijuana man attempting to enter the country,

Just after 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 22, Andres Gonzalez Soriano was driving a 2005 Chevrolet van with California plates and was trying to cross the border, according to a statement of facts in the charging document. He told officials he had plans to go to San Diego.

He was referred to a secondary checkpoint, where a customs officer noticed Gonzalez, 24, “had become nervous and fidgiting” when he was told to unload all the merchandise in the van. According to a manifest, the van was carrying abrasive cutting wheels.

The court document states that an officer inspected a box that had been removed from the van, and found packages of clear Tupperware wrapped in shrink wrap. A drug-sniffing dog got a hit on the boxes removed from the van.

Further searching turned up 63 packages in a rear compartment of the van. A field test found material in all but one of the packages tested positive for the characteristics of meth, according to the document. One of the packages field tested positive for the characteristics of fentanyl, according to the document.

Gonzalez was arrested and charged with importing a controlled substance.

On Monday, the court approved his release on a secured $25,000 bond and $2,500 cash deposit. He was ordered to remain in the county, and not to enter Mexico.

His arraignment is set for next month.

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