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Authorities seize almost $3M worth of meth disguised as onions in California

This photograph reveals the Otay Mesa business facility the place authorities found virtually 1,200 small packages of methamphetamine hidden inside a cargo of onions on Feb. 13. (U.S. Customs and Border Safety through AP)

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OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Safety officers have seized practically $3 million value of methamphetamine hidden in small packages inside a cargo of onions at a business facility in San Diego, the company mentioned.

Federal officers on the Otay Mesa port-of-entry facility final Sunday encountered a 46-year-old man who was driving a tractor trailer containing a big cargo “manifested as onions,” Customs and Border Safety introduced in a information launch Friday.

Throughout an preliminary inspection of the automobile, one officer directed the driving force and cargo to a extra intensive examination performed by the company’s Ok-9 group, the discharge mentioned.

One of many detector canine alerted officers to the cargo, who found 1,197 packages of meth — roughly 1,336 kilos — value an estimated road worth of $2.9 million, based on Customs and Border Safety.

The packages, which had been combined with the onion cargo in sacks, “had been formed into small globes with a white overlaying, designed to mix into the onions they had been hidden with,” the discharge mentioned.

Officers arrested the driving force, an unidentified Mexico citizen, for the alleged narcotic smuggling try and turned him over to the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Safety Investigations for “additional disposition,” based on Customs and Border Safety. Additionally they seized the tractor, trailer and narcotics, the company mentioned.

“This was not solely a intelligent try and try to smuggle in narcotics, one I have never seen earlier than, but additionally time-consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to appear like onions,” mentioned Sidney Aki, Customs and Border Safety director of area operations in San Diego.

“These efforts present how efficient our officers are, and as a response, the lengths drug trafficking organizations are keen to go to as they attempt to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.,” the assertion continued. “Whereas we now have actually seen narcotics in produce earlier than, it is uncommon for us to see this degree of element within the concealment.”


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Spotify’s Joe Rogan Deal Is Said to Be Worth Over $200 Million

Administration of the disaster in the USA could have been additional difficult as a result of Spotify’s headquarters is almost 4,000 miles away, in Sweden, the place Mr. Ek, a publicity-shy govt who grew up in a suburb of Stockholm, and most of the firm’s engineers and longest-tenured workers are primarily based.

Free expression is a deeply held perception in Sweden. Many workers there — and in the USA — had been indignant when Spotify eliminated music by R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from playlists in 2018 for content material or conduct deemed offensive, a choice the corporate shortly reversed.

Mr. Ek has made it clear that he’s cautious of taking over the function of censor. “We’re not within the enterprise of dictating the discourse that these creators need to have on their reveals,” he instructed workers earlier this month in a speech first reported by The Verge, including that “if we solely needed to make content material that all of us like and agree with, we might want to eradicate faith, and politics, and comedy, and well being, and setting, and schooling, the checklist goes on and on and on.”

And as a enterprise matter, censoring Mr. Rogan may alienate his legion of followers and set a slippery precedent with different podcasters, based on Mark Mulligan, an business analyst with Midia Analysis.

“That might put in danger their future podcast technique,” Mr. Mulligan mentioned.

In a current memo to workers, Mr. Ek wrote that “canceling voices is a slippery slope” however acknowledged that a lot of episodes of Mr. Rogan’s present had been faraway from the platform. He wrote that Mr. Rogan had determined to take away them after conferences with Spotify executives and “his personal reflections.”

Katherine Rosman and Ben Sisario reported from New York, Mike Isaac reported from Oakland, Calif., and Adam Satariano reported from London. Further reporting was contributed by Nicole Sperling in Los Angeles and Marc Tracy and Jessica Cheung in New York.

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