Chicago - Chicago Customs and Border Protection (CBB) officers at the International Mail Facility near O'Hare Airport recently seized five kilos of opium saturated woodchips inside two international shipments destined for Minnesota.
Invoiced as "Lao Herbal" tea, CBP canine Rambo alerted to a parcel on Thursday, Aug. 26, which contained 37 plastic bags of woodchips that tested positive for opium. On the following day, Friday, Aug. 27, CBP canine Rambo once again alerted to another shipment of "Lao Herbal" tea containing 39 plastic bags of woodchips that also tested positive for opium. Both parcels were shipped from Laos and destined for different addresses in Minneapolis, Minn. The weight of all of the opium saturated woodchips totaled over 5.1 kilograms. No arrests have been made at this time regarding these seizures as the investigation continues.
"In Chicago we have seen everything from opium saturated in pieces of cloth, to opium in small twigs and now in woodchips," said Brian Humphrey, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in Chicago. "Everyday presents a new challenge and opportunity for CBP to outsmart drug smugglers as our officers examine, x-ray and process millions of incoming foreign mail parcels to keep our country safe."
Officers stationed at CBP mail facilities routinely discover and seize drugs such as marijuana, opium, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, concealed in ingenious methods, arriving from throughout the world in foreign mail. CBP International Mail Facilities are located in Chicago, Ill.; Los Angeles, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Seattle, Wash.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Jamaica, N.Y.; Miami, Fla.; Jersey City, N.J. and Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands.
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.