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46 Pounds of Chemicals Used to Create GHB Seized by CBP

Release Date: 
July 2, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky—On June 24 at an Express Consignment Facility in Louisville, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville intercepted a shipment originating from China containing 46.5 pounds of chemicals that are often referred to as ‘club drugs’ or ‘date rape drugs’. These chemicals are also be used to enhance the anabolic state of the user. GHB Seizure 


Based on their knowledge and experience, CBP officers inspected the parcel and found two plastic jugs inside. Both bottles contained a clear liquid, which was tested by the officers. The first bottle was found to contain 23.5 pounds of Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), a DEA List I precursor chemical. The second bottle contained 22.9 pounds of 1,4-Butanediol, a precursor chemical for Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB).


“These chemicals are very dangerous,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. “Our officers see shipments like this every night, and every night they stop these dangerous products from reaching its final destination. Our officers do an outstanding job of keeping us safe.”


This shipment was destined for Los Angeles, California.


According to a DEA document, GBL is regulated as a List I chemical under the Controlled Substances Act. GHB is controlled in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Gamma-Butyrolactone or GBL and 1,4-butanediol or BD are structurally similar to GHB and there is a large body of evidence to confirm that GBL and BD are converted to GHB after oral administration. GBL and BD have been sold and substituted for GHB in an effort to circumvent state and federal laws. If intended for human consumption, both GBL and BD may be treated as a “controlled substance analogue.”


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.

Last modified: 
July 2, 2020