433 Pounds of Green Cocaine Seized Since October 1 by Cincinnati CBP
CINCINNATI— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati have seized 50 shipments of green powder cocaine from October 1, 2020 through February 7, 2021. The total amount of cocaine in all 50 shipments was 433 pounds.
Originating from Peru and Columbia, the shipments were headed to individuals across the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Some of the shipments contained additional scheduled or controlled substances such as powdered mescaline and peyote.
Initially, the shipments were packaged to appear like matcha or moringa powder, both popular nutritional supplements. Matcha and moringa powder are regularly shipped into the United States, but usually not from South America, so it was sent to CBP’s Laboratories and Scientific Services (LSS) for further testing. LSS, the forensic and scientific arm of CBP, confirmed the powder contained cocaine.
Cocaine is produced from the leaves of the coca plant, Erythroxylum coca, and through a chemical process using gasoline, ammonia, and other chemicals, the green powder is processed into the more commonly known white form. Both types of cocaine retain psychoactive alkaloids and are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.
“Our officers’ knowledge and exceptional training led them to realize these shipments needed further testing.” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Their instincts combined with the professional scientific analysis available to CBP has kept this dangerous green powder out of our neighborhoods.”
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.