X-ray found drugs hidden in nacho cheese cans, officials say
Customs officials said their practice of X-raying suspicious products crossing the U.S.-Mexico border helped them discover illegal drugs that smugglers hid in cans of jalapeno peppers and cheese sauce earlier this week.
Officials said the case began when a driver at the San Ysidro border crossing told authorities he was returning to the U.S. after grocery shopping in Mexico. His groceries included cans of the nacho cheese sauce, they said.
But the federal agents thought the cans seemed too heavy, officials said, so they were screened by an X-ray machine, leading to the discovery of packets of methamphetamine smothered in the cheese sauce.
Federal agents Tuesday arrested a 21-year-old Mexican citizen who lives in Oxnard on suspicion of trying to smuggle the meth into the U.S. inside two cans of cheese sauce and one of jalapenos.
The meth, weighing about seven pounds, is worth an estimated $140,000, officials said. The cans and the driver's 1999 Toyota Solara were seized at the border crossing, they said.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Cans of cheese sauce and jalapenos containing what authorities say are packages of methamphetamine. Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security