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  4. Philadelphia CBP Bags Downers Destined ‘Down East’

Philadelphia CBP Bags Downers Destined ‘Down East’

Release Date
Thu, 03/16/2023

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Philadelphia unwrapped a present from Kosovo on Tuesday, but the gift was a bit of a downer.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seize 4,055 pills of Xanax and Klonopin in Philadelphia on March 14, 2023, that arrived gift-wrapped from Kosovo and were destined to an address in Hancock County, Maine.
CBP officers unwrapped a gift from Kosovo and discovered more than 4,000 downers destined 'Down East.'

While inspecting an express delivery parcel destined to Hancock County, Maine, CBP officers discovered costume jewelry, textile fabric, along with 2,055 alprazolam pills and 2,000 clonazepam pills covered in wrapping paper.

Known by their common name Xanax and Klonopin, alprazolam and clonazepam are Scheduled IV controlled substances. They are depressants used to treat anxiety and panic disorders and legally only available through a prescription. Street users refer to them as downers.

Consumers may think they are getting a deal by purchasing medication cheaper or without a prescription online from third party sellers, but it is impossible to determine the medicines’ safety, efficacy, or legitimacy.

“Prescription drug abusers who purchase pharmaceuticals through the international marketplace take on the added risk of purchasing potentially counterfeit or contaminated medicines, or even worse, medicines laced with fentanyl that could kill them,” said Joseph Martella, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Philadelphia. “Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to intercept parcels at our nation’s ports of entry that pose health and safety risks to American consumers.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seize 4,055 pills of Xanax and Klonopin in Philadelphia on March 14, 2023, that arrived gift-wrapped from Kosovo and were destined to an address in Hancock County, Maine.
Consumers risk their health and safety by purchasing prescription medicines on the international marketplace.

CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

See what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2022. Learn more at www.CBP.gov.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.

Last Modified: Apr 17, 2023