Chicago - U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 officer working with his partner Rambo, seized more than 35 kilograms of opium saturated twigs and leaves at the Chicago O'Hare Foreign Mail Facility January 19 and January 20. While screening arriving international mail, K-9 Rambo alerted to the four separate shipments of opium that had been soaked and dried onto wooden twigs and packed in dried leaves.
The parcels, shipped from Laos and destined to the Minneapolis, Minn. area, was manifested with the description "Hmong Traditional Medicine Tea." The CBP K-9 officer opened the four parcels to find a total of 273 plastic bags containing wood twigs and dried leaves. The twigs appeared to be saturated with an unknown substance that emitted a distinctive odor. The substance from the bags field tested positive for the presence of opiates. The 273 bags of opium saturated twigs and leaves had a combined weight of just more than 35 kilograms.
These are the first opium seizures in 2010 by CBP officers at the Chicago O'Hare Foreign Mail Facility where Rambo continues his successful interdiction of imported opium. In 2009, Rambo intercepted more than 195 kilograms of opiate material. The majority of the seized shipments have originated from Laos and were destined to various residences in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The investigations are ongoing.
"The efforts put forth by CBP K-9 officers and their partners continue to produce impressive results this year," said David J. Murphy, CBP director of Field Operations in Chicago. "This is another example of how the nation's largest and most diverse law enforcement canine program is a key contributor to the successes of CBP. These K-9 officers work daily with their partners to discover prohibited items and prevent contraband from entering the United States."
CBP officers and agriculture specialists are stationed at the Foreign Mail Facilities located throughout the country. CBP is constantly screening arriving international mail and on the lookout for any type of contraband or prohibited items being shipped to the United States.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.