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  4. Baltimore CBP Intercepts 32-Pound Marijuana Load Destined to London, Passenger Released

Baltimore CBP Intercepts 32-Pound Marijuana Load Destined to London, Passenger Released

Release Date
Wed, 03/13/2024

High-potency U.S.-farmed weed fetches more in European markets.

BALTIMORE – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a 32-pound marijuana load that one passenger attempted to smuggle to London from Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on February 25.

The passenger, a 22-year-old California woman, has not been charged, however the criminal investigation is ongoing.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 32 pounds of marijuana in a passenger’s baggage before the passenger could board a flight to London on February 25 at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
CBP intercepted a 32-pound marijuana load destined to London.

CBP officers discovered the marijuana in a suitcase being loaded onto the Reykjavik, Iceland-bound flight. The traveler had follow-on travel to London. CBP officers identified the traveler by the baggage tag and found the traveler at the departure gate. Officers took both the traveler and suitcase to CBP’s inspection station where officers extracted 30 vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana from the suitcase. Collectively, the marijuana packages weighed 14.47 kilograms, or 31 pounds, 14 ounces.

The marijuana had a street value of as much as $150,000 in the United States, depending on potency, but could fetch two to three times more in Europe.

CBP has observed an increasing trend of United States-based growers and retailers shipping marijuana to Europe and Africa where high-quality weed can fetch prices many times higher than in the U.S. CBP officers usually see the marijuana being exported in smaller parcels, but occasionally officers encounter travelers carrying marijuana-stuffed suitcases.

Recently, CBP officers at nearby Washington Dulles International Airport seized 73 pounds of marijuana being smuggled to Paris and 88 pounds of hashish destined to Brazil. Virginia State Police charged passengers in both cases for felony narcotics possession.

“Marijuana may be decriminalized in some states; however, bulk smuggling remains illegal federally, and Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to seize marijuana when we encounter it,” said Adam Rottman, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore. “Smugglers gamble with their freedom to chase a few extra bucks. Despite this traveler not being criminally charged, CBP officers will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold smugglers accountable.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly eight pounds of coca leaves in two passengers' baggage from Panama on February 19 at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
A week earlier, CBP officers seized nearly eight pounds of illegal coca leaves at BWI.

A week before the marijuana seizure, CBP officers at BWI seized nearly eight pounds of coca leaves in the baggage of two women who arrived on a flight from Panama City, Panama. Officers found the coca leaves in 30 vacuum-sealed packages on February 19. CBP officers seized the coca leaves and released the travelers.

It is illegal to bring coca leaves to the United States for any purpose, including for brewing tea or for chewing because they retain cocaine alkaloids. Cocaine, derived from coca leaves, is a Schedule II narcotic.

CBP officers and agents seized an average of 2,895 pounds of dangerous drugs every day at and between our nation’s air, sea, and land ports of entry. See CBP’s 2023 enforcement stats to see what other dangerous drugs CBP is encountering at our nation’s borders.

CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

Learn more about what CBP accomplished during at "A Typical Day".

Last Modified: Mar 14, 2024