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The Concealment Methods Criminals Use to Peddle Their Drugs

Release Date: 
March 8, 2021

CINCINNATI—Over a period of six days in late February and early March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stationed at the Port of Cincinnati seized four shipments containing cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and undeclared U.S. currency, each smuggled in a unique way.Toys

On February 23, Narcotics Detector Dog “Bruno” alerted to a shipment of cookware transiting from Canada to Australia. The cookware appeared to have unusual defects in the non-stick lining, and when officers took a closer look, they found cocaine packed inside compartments in the bottom of the pans.

NDD Bruno also alerted to a shipment of injectable equine medication imported from Mexico to Longview, Texas on February 25. When officers tested the substance inside the bottles of medicine, they found out it was liquid methamphetamine.

The next day, while inspecting a shipment of toys from Mexico, officers found $15,000 of undeclared U.S. currency secured behind an action figure. The shipment was destined to Houston, Texas.

Finally, on March 1, officers found both methamphetamine and marijuana packed inside air pumps and speakers in a shipment coming from Mexico and headed to Austin, Texas.

“Our officers are exceptional at detecting smuggled narcotics and other contraband,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “When toy action figures hold mantid egg cases or undeclared U.S. currency, horse medications turn out to be liquid methamphetamine, air pumps and speakers contain methamphetamine and marijuana, honey is spiked with Cialis and Viagra, and cocaine can be found coating cereal flakes or hidden inside cookware, officers learn to think creatively about the many ways smugglers try to evade inspection.”

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.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.

Last modified: 
March 8, 2021