LOUISVILLE, Ky—Drug Smugglers will go to any lengths to ship their narcotics in and out of the U.S. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have found drugs hidden in car parts, religious paintings, tombstones, clothing…the list is endless. The latest seizure was discovered by CBP officers in Louisville. They seized four pounds of marijuana that was concealed inside a box of Lucky Charms cereal.
CBP Narcotic Detector Dog “Kary” was working outgoing freight on February 24 when he alerted to a shipment of cereal headed to a private residence in Great Britain. When officers opened the box to take a closer look, they saw that the cereal contained vacuum sealed bags. Officers tested the substance, which was positive for marijuana.
“This marijuana seizure further illustrates CBP’s continued vigilance to detect and to intercept illicit narcotics at mailing facilities,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “The vigilance and expertise of the officers involved, along with the diligence of our canine partners, is commendable.”
CBP conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international cargo, and although marijuana is legal in many U.S. States, the sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana all remain illegal under U.S. federal law. Consequently, mailing a shipment containing marijuana overseas is prohibited.
“Our officers are very familiar with the many ways smugglers try to evade inspection,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Officers learn to think creatively about where things might be hidden because drugs can be anywhere—inside books, auto parts, spools of ribbon, crepe makers, study binders, food, statues, photo frames—if there is space inside an item it could contain something illegal.”
CBP executes a multi-layered, risk-based approach to border security and narcotics interdiction designed to extend our zone of security outward. CBP’s layered approach includes sharing information with our U.S. and foreign law enforcement partners, implementing security measures across the global supply chain, leveraging risk-based targeting and intelligence-driven strategies on imports, and deploying narcotics detector dogs and non-intrusive inspection technology at our ports of entry. An important element of CBP’s layered security strategy is obtaining advance information to intercept shipments that pose a potentially higher risk of containing contraband. Timely information sharing is critical in targeting and interdicting narcotics shipments, as well as identifying individuals who move drugs from the ports of entry to their destinations throughout the United States.
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.