Chicago - Chicago U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the CBP International Mail Facility, near O'Hare International Airport, recently seized two shipments of opium saturated cloth items from Laos. On September 11, CBP canine Rogue alerted to these imported parcels containing decorative narcotic laden materials weighing more than 28 pounds and valued at $302,000.
After the canine alert, CBP officers opened the two packages which contained pieces of decorative cloth and hats. A subsequent field narcotics test revealed the presence of opium within the fabric of the cloth which emitted a strong odor. One parcel contained 23 pieces of opium saturated cloth weighing 14 pounds and the other parcel contained 24 opium saturated pieces of cloth and 9 hats, with a weight of 14.3 pounds. Both shipments were manifested as "Hmong Dresses" addressed to individuals in different Minnesota cities.
"CBP narcotic seizures from international mail are on the rise in Chicago as our officers take millions in illegal drugs off the streets, protecting our communities," said Steven Artino, Acting CBP Director of Field Operations in Chicago. "Rogue is a wonder dog in the international mail environment. He transferred from our CBP Cincinnati express consignment operation last April and has now found more than 600 shipments of opium here in Chicago, valued at more than $4 million."
Rogue, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois narcotic detector dog, is one of the CBP Port of Chicago canine family. Throughout the year, CBP canine teams work at international mail facilities to examine millions of foreign mail shipments coming into the U. S. from all parts of the world. In Chicago, the CBP canine crew includes Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, Labradors and Beagles.
CBP canine enforcement teams are highly trained in different programs to detect large amounts of currency; illegal narcotics, explosives, humans, or dangerous food and plant material that may carry pests and diseases harming U.S. agriculture. There are over 1,300 CBP canine teams located throughout the country who are vital four-legged weapons in keeping this country safe.
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.