Crime

"Liquid Meth" Seized Near Border; California Man Arrested

A California man tried to drive through the international border at Naco last week with about 13 pounds of liquid meth in his pickup's windshield washer reservoir.

The find is part of an ongoing trend in the world of illegal drugs to package methamphetamine in ways that make smuggling easier and give users alternate ingestion methods. A search for "liquid meth" pulled up stories from Alabama to Idaho.

The shipment was found after a customs agent at the border had a hunch about the 55-year-old suspect, who is a green-card-holding U.S. immigrant, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After the agent detoured the 2000 GMC pickup to an inspection station, a drug dog alerted to the smell of meth.

The statement by Customs seems to have a typo in the estimated street value of the drug: $982,400.

That seems much too high for 13 pounds of meth, even in the reputedly more potent liquid form. According to the Department of Justice, the wholesale cost of meth is about $10,000 to $15,000 a pound.

Customs agents were not available Tuesday afternoon to talk about the seizure.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.