US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP Officers in Jacksonville Seize "Date Rape" Drug Ingredient

Release Date: 
October 15, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working in Jacksonville, Florida seized a package of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) arriving from Hong Kong last Friday.

CBP officers examining packages arriving from Hong Kong selected a shipment for further examination. One of the officers noticed that there was a strong chemical smell emanating from the package. The liquid substance in a bottle within the package tested positive for GBL.  The total weight of the seized drug was 1.35 kilograms, which is equivalent to nearly three pounds.

CBP officers seized a package of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) in Jacksonville.

CBP officers seized a package of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) in Jacksonville.

GBL is a clear, odorless, and near-tasteless liquid that has a high potential for overdose and addiction. Once ingested, GBL quickly converts to gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), the chemical most notoriously associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault because it renders its victims unconscious and incapable of remembering past events. GBL, as a GHB analog, is treated as a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It is illegal to import into the United States without proper permission.

“CBP plays an important role in stopping dangerous drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, from entering the United States and also seizes thousands of pounds of drugs like GBL and GHB every year,” said Jacksonville Port Director Douglas Straatsma. “We are very proud of our CBP officers for their hard work keeping these drugs out of our communities.”

The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"Our communities are safer today because of the hard work of our HSI special agents and partners like U.S. Customs and Border Protection," said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

On a typical day in Fiscal Year 2014, CBP seized 10,327 pounds of drugs while conducting operations nationwide. 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.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Florida includes travel and trade facilitation and securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border. Find out more and get real-time updates at @CBPFlorida on Twitter.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017