LOUISVILLE, Ky—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville saw a record number of fraudulent counterfeits, illegal narcotics, and dangerous agricultural shipments during Fiscal Year 2021. CBP officers in Louisville seized 5,705 shipments and issued 11,766 Emergency Action Notices (EAN) in Fiscal Year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021.
CBP officers saw hundreds of packages that contained counterfeit items. A large majority of these counterfeits came from overseas locations, as these criminals target consumers ripping them off by selling substandard, and sometimes dangerous items, at top dollar prices. CBP officers in Louisville intercepted packages that would have had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of more than $263 million, a 136% increase compared to last year’s total of over $111 million. The Louisville Port of Entry was third in the entire nation in seizing Intellectual Property Rights violations. Louisville CBP noted counterfeit watches, designer handbags and Airpods as their top three items seized, respectively, this year. Additionally, Louisville officers seized 13 shipments that contained $145,839,000 in counterfeit currency.
CBP officers weren’t only seizing counterfeit items, but CBP agriculture specialist in Louisville were also stopping parcels that could pose a threat to agriculture and related industries. Louisville CBP led the nation in issuing EANs, (an increase of 110%) which are issued when agriculture specialist seize agricultural shipments that lack proper certifications, violate the Plant Protection Act, or the contents in the parcel could introduce dangerous disease into U.S. environment. While seeds arrive often, this year the top agricultural items seized by Louisville were duck tongues, meat, and eggs.
However, the most dangerous items that these officers see are narcotics. This year Louisville CBP saw an increase of 29% in drug seizures. The officers seized a total of 14,368 pounds of drugs.
- Marijuana was the most seized narcotic, with officers seizing almost 5,400 pounds, which would have had a street value of over $10.8 million.
- Other scheduled drugs came in second with CBP seizing over 1,700 pounds.
- Methamphetamine finished third with 1,682 pounds seized, a street value of $7.56 million.
- Louisville CBP also seized 84 pounds this year of the deadly drug, Fentanyl, a street value of $1.14 million.
“The staff at the Port of Louisville has done a tremendous job this year in enforcement actions,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “Our officers and specialists are some of the most highly trained in the nation, and their level of expertise is evident in these numbers.”
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
“Express courier and international mail facilities are extremely high-volume facilities. Shippers of illicit goods may feel that the odds would be in their favor to use these venues to circumvent inspection and smuggle contraband into the United States,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “The numbers show the officers and specialists stationed at these hubs and facilities are extremely skilled at finding that one illegal shipment out of 200,000 every night, and they are among the nation’s finest in recognizing and intercepting illicit shipments of any kind.”
CBPs nationwide fiscal year numbers are also now available on our website on the enforcement page: CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2022 | U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For further context, please refer to our press release located here.
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.