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CBP Chicago Catches Nearly 70lbs of Opium at Chicago O’Hare

Release Date: 
May 11, 2016

CHICAGO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport seized nearly 70 pounds of Opium from the bags of three separate U.S. Citizens traveling into the United States.  The three U.S. citizens arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport from Vientiane, Laos via Narita, Japan.

Opium concealed inside bags of tea leaves

Opium concealed inside bags of tea leaves

The incident unfolded on Tuesday May 10, when the three travelers were selected for a baggage inspection. During the baggage inspection CBP officers discovered 470 packets of a brown powdery substance concealed within bags of tea leaves.  The packets containing the brown powder tested positive for opium.

“Today is a great example of how the officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection work daily to stop the illegal drug flow into the United States,” said Matthew Davies, Chicago Area Port Director. “Even though these would-be smugglers are trying new concealment methods each and every day, I just want to remind them that if they try to get through Chicago, we will catch them!”

The three passengers and 69.9lbs of opium were turned over to the Chicago Police Department for prosecution. 

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: 
February 3, 2021