Border Patrol canines in Arizona got more than they bargained for when they discovered burritos stuffed with fentanyl on Monday, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The canines were working at the Yuma Sector Border at the Highway 78 immigration checkpoint, according to CBP.
A man driving a Chevrolet Tahoe was ordered to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area around 3:00 p.m. During the inspection, one of the dogs alerted his handler to a black backpack inside the vehicle.
Agents found breakfast burritos stuffed with “several small packages containing fentanyl pills.”
Fentanyl smuggled in… burritos?
Yesterday, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized $60K worth of fentanyl pills hidden inside burritos after a K9 alerted to a vehicle at an immigration checkpoint.
— CBP (@CBP) March 31, 2021
The pills had a combined weight of slightly over five pounds and an estimated street value of approximately $60,000, according to CBP. (RELATED: 2-Year-Old Dies After Ingesting Fentanyl Allegedly Purchased Using Stimulus Check)
“Smugglers are under the false assumption that they can disguise drugs within food to throw off canines and their handlers,” CBP said in a statement. “On the contrary, canines have the ability to detect a target odor among a myriad of other odors.”
CBP officials arrested the man and seized the fentanyl. The man was identified as a 37-year-old lawfully-admitted permanent resident, according to CBP.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fentanyl is typically mixed with heroin or cocaine to increase the recreational effects, according to the CDC.