CINCINNATI—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and their canine partners started 2021 doing what they do best—finding a lot of drugs in imported freight.
On January 1, NDD K9 Bruno alerted to a shipment of handicrafts while searching incoming freight from Mexico. A closer exam showed a white powdery substance concealed inside a wooden tortilla press that was in the shipment. The powder tested positive for methamphetamine, with a total weight of 26 pounds for the press and the meth. The shipment had been headed to a residence in Houston, Texas.
“International trade continues to increase, powering the United States’ economy and the world’s economy,” said Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers and specialists are often the final safety net for American consumers, ensuring not only that legitimate trade continues but also that illegal shipments such as this one are not part of the system.”
The opioid crisis has rightfully gained much attention over the past few years, but overdose deaths from methamphetamine and cocaine have been increasing at an alarming pace since 2009. According to provisional data provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020 overdose death rates from stimulants have increased by 18% over 2019.
Methamphetamine is one of the most commonly misused stimulants in the world and is the drug that most contributes to violent crime in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 1.6 million people reported using methamphetamine in 2016. It is highly addictive, and its abuse can lead to death from stroke, heart attack, or multiple organ failures caused by overheating.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.