Record-breaking 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine found in California seizure

Four men are under arrest after authorities in California seized a record-breaking 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine from a box truck that had crossed the border into the United States from Mexico.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California, at around 4:55 p.m. on July 7, a 20-foot box truck crossed into the U.S. through the Otay Mesa Commercial Port of Entry. 

The truck was surveilled as it traveled to Hoover and 30th Street in National City. Upon its arrival, law enforcement observed the suspects unloading dozens of cardboard boxes from the truck and loading them into a van. 

The four men, all from Tijuana, Mexico, were then arrested.

Further investigation inside the boxes found roughly 148 bundles of a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. In total, the methamphetamine weighed over 5,000 pounds. The seizure is believed to be one of the largest in its kind in the history of San Diego County.

"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."

The suspects have been identified as 37-year-old Rafael Alzua, 41-year-olds Mario Contreras and Galdrino Contreras, and 44-year-old Ethgar Velazquez. They have been charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and, if found guilty, could face a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.