New Orleans, La. - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in New Orleans targeted a shipment found to contain substances that have been sending drug abusers to emergency rooms with nasty effects.
When the cargo reached the Port of New Orleans on Nov. 29, CBP officers inspected and ultimately detained the shipment which contained six silver packages with no writing, labels, or descriptions of any kind, an FDA marking violation. Further examination revealed the packages contained an unidentifiable white powdery substance, a sample of which was sent to the CBP laboratory in Houston, TX, for analysis.
On Dec. 21, officers in New Orleans received confirmation from the laboratory that the contents were positively identified as '3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone hydrochloride' (MDPV). While not a scheduled or controlled drug, MDPV has been documented as potentially addictive with dangerous adverse effects on the body and mind as stated by health practitioners.
As a result of the marking violation, CBP officers seized 13 pounds of MDPV on Dec. 27. MDPV is a type of synthetic drug said to mimic the effects of methamphetamine or cocaine. Poison control centers have publicized more than 100 cases of Methylenedioxypyrovalerone hydrochloride overdose cases being reported to various centers, 75 percent having originated in Louisiana and Kentucky.
"The discovery and interception of this potentially dangerous drug product is yet another illustration of how CBP works every single day to keep hazardous substances from entering the commerce of the United States," said Robert C. Gomez, acting CBP director of the New Orleans field office.
It has been reported that poison control centers are seeing this as an emerging health threat. MDPV overdose has been attributed to multiple deaths in the United States and abroad. The word on the street and the internet is this drug can be sniffed as the "legal cocaine" or "legal speed."