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One Night of Dangerous Drugs Seized by Cincinnati CBP

Release Date
Wed, 05/24/2023

CINCINNATI—On May 17, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati intercepted four shipments containing Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Ketamine. The shipments were from Colombia, Dominican Republic, and the United Kingdom, and were heading to residential addresses in California, New York, Michigan, and the United Kingdom. 


CBP Narcotic Detector Dog “Bruno” was actively working incoming freight and alerted to a shipment of food cans. The substance inside the cans appeared to not match the label of the can and have a white liquid substance with an unusual consistency inside. Anomalies such as these help officers decide what narcotics are mixed within the liquid. The substance tested positive for the properties of Cocaine, a schedule II narcotic. The 10 pounds of cocaine was heading to the United Kingdom and would have an approximate street value of over $172,000.

A second shipment was discovered while officers inspected incoming freight from Dominican Republic. Officers opened a shipment that held a coffee maker. Although the coffee maker was normal, hidden inside the coffee maker was a bag full of blue pills with triangle markings. The bag of pills were extracted and tested positive for Fentanyl. Fentanyl, heading to a residence in New York, is a schedule II highly dangerous and deadly drug and would have had a street value over $3,000.

Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie explains that transnational criminals conceal narcotics every way imaginable in attempt to bypass CBP inspection. “I trust the Port of Cincinnati officers’ knowledge of narcotic routes and keen eye to help keep our nation safe; officers are working day and night to find narcotics and other illegal merchandise trying to be smuggled into the United States.”


Two more shipments were discovered on the same night while officers inspected inbound shipments from Colombia and the United Kingdom. Officers found one shipment that held knee pads with a purple powder concealed within the material of the gloves. Another shipment found was protein powder with a yellow tint, which is unusual. Officers tested both substances and each tested positive for Ketamine hydrochloride, a schedule III non-narcotic that is regulated under the Controlled Substance Act.  Ketamine can be known on the streets as “Special K,” often used by young adults in night clubs and parties. One of the shipments was heading to Michigan, while the other was heading to Colorado. This was the second time in two days a Ketamine shipment heading to Colorado was intercepted by CBP. The Ketamine seized had a value of $50,404.

“CBP has an essential job ensuring the safety of the public, this includes detecting and intercepting threats such as deadly narcotics like Fentanyl before they reach the streets,” said Director of Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office, LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke. “The officers and specialists in Cincinnati continue to uphold the core values of CBP, and I am proud to lead such a bright workforce as we work together to combat transnational crime.”

CBP Office of Field Operations’ dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people, and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago. Visit CBP’s YouTube channel to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

Last Modified: May 24, 2023