CINCINNATI—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati start their shifts off the same way each day: determined to stop illegal shipments from entering and exiting the United States. Two recent seizures of cocaine are examples of the enforcement actions these officers take daily to keep the country safe.
On June 4, officers inspected a Caribbean shipment that appeared to contain documents, but after an x-ray exam showed anomalies within the shipment’s contents, agents discovered multiple thick, black, zippered folders containing about three pounds of an unknown white powder. Tests showed the powder was cocaine. The shipment was headed to a residence in Perth, Australia.
Five days later, officers found more than 11 pounds of liquid cocaine inside a shipment of cosmetics coming from Mexico. After opening the package, officers noticed three shampoo bottles filled with a thick liquid that appeared inconsistent in color and texture. The unknown liquid, which was going to a residence in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, tested positive for cocaine.
“Seizures like this underscore the reality of the drug threat and CBP’s commitment to the border security mission, and its impact on our local citizens throughout the nation.” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations-Chicago.
The estimated value for both cocaine seizures is approximately $300,000 with an “street value” of over $700,000 if sold by the gram.
“The officers and agriculture specialists in Cincinnati are here to protect the public and enable legitimate trade,” said Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Although criminals come up with numerous creative concealment methods, our officers leverage all their skills and available tools to identify shipments of interest and stop dangerous drugs from reaching our cities and neighborhoods.”
Cocaine is a highly addictive and extremely powerful stimulant that can be snorted, smoked, or dissolved and injected into a person’s vein. According to provisional data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cocaine is involved in nearly 1 in 5 overdose deaths, with the highest death rates in Washington D.C. and Ohio.