Cheese Wheel Smugglers Busted

( – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) referred a truck for secondary inspection on July 20th when an X-ray of large cheese wheels showed anomalies. The 22-year-old U.S. citizen had properly declared the large cheese wheels, among other items, being brought across the border. Inspectors cut into the cheese and found nearly 18 pounds of cocaine.

CBP regularly finds drugs in strange places, among everyday items, hidden in plain sight. Drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamines, heroin, and cocaine are typically found in addition to prescription meds and marijuana. The agency is ramping up efforts to protect communities by seizing these drugs at the border. Under a new operation launched in June 2023, officials seized over 1,500 pounds of fentanyl and over 23,000 pounds of assorted narcotics.

At the El Paso entry point, officials seized 146 pounds of cocaine hidden in an ice cream maker in May 2023. There has been a 7% increase in overall seizures from May to June 2023. In 2021, there were over 80,000 opioid-related deaths, primarily fentanyl, which has placed focus on the entry points of the deadly drugs. Fentanyl is a challenge for CBP as it is easily trafficked and is 50 times more potent than heroin.

The majority of illegal drugs come into America from Mexican border crossings. Few come from Canadian entry points, and some from China by air. In 2022, 84% of the 14,104 seized fentanyl was found along the Mexican border. The DEA seized enough fentanyl to kill every American in the form of 50 million fentanyl-laced pills and over 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder.

So, while it’s fun for media outlets to joke about how one drug smuggler tried to sneak drugs into America inside some large cheese wheels, the reality is that CBP protects every person on American soil. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection safeguards the American people and America with their motto “Honor First.”

Copyright 2023,