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  4. Philadelphia CBP Intercepts 21-Pound Marijuana Load in UK-Bound Passenger’s Baggage

Philadelphia CBP Intercepts 21-Pound Marijuana Load in UK-Bound Passenger’s Baggage

Release Date
Wed, 07/26/2023

High-potency U.S.-farmed weed fetches more in European markets.

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly 21 pounds of marijuana on Saturday at Philadelphia International Airport that officers discovered in the baggage of a French woman traveling to London, United Kingdom.

While conducting inspections of baggage being loaded onto outbound international flights, CBP narcotics detector dog Gini alerted to one London-bound suitcase. Officers relayed baggage tag information to CBP officers working at the departure gate.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized about 21 pounds of marijuana on July 22, 2023, that they discovered in the baggage of a French woman flying from Philadelphia to London. High-potency U.S.-farmed marijuana fetches higher prices in Europe; however, smuggling marijuana remains illegal under federal law and CBP officers will continue to seize it and hold traveler accountable.
Highly-potent U.S. marijuana is fetching higher prices in Europe, but smuggling it remains illegal and smugglers face consequences.

CBP officers located the woman in the gate area and escorted her and the suitcase to CBP’s inspection station. CBP officers examined the baggage and discovered 20 vacuum-sealed bags that contained a green leafy substance. That substance field-tested positive for marijuana.

The marijuana weighed a combined 9.36 kilograms, or 20 pounds, 10 ounces. It has a street value of about $20,000 in the U.S.

The woman was not criminally charged. CBP seized the marijuana and released the woman to continue her travel to London.

“Travelers who gamble by attempting to smuggle bulk marijuana through our ports of entry will find that Customs and Border Protection officers are hard to bet against. Smugglers should be aware that they may face severe consequences. Marijuana smuggling remains illegal and CBP will continue to seize it when we encounter it,” said Rene Ortega, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

High-quality, high-potency U.S.-farmed marijuana can fetch prices many times higher throughout other parts of the world. For example, the street price of this marijuana load in the United Kingdom would be about $200,000, and about $100,000 in France.

CBP officers have intercepted travelers illegally smuggling bulk marijuana loads. On April 24, CBP officers seized 72 pounds of marijuana in the baggage of an Ireland-bound man, and about eight pounds of marijuana in the baggage of a Bermuda-bound man on May 2. The firs man was criminally charged.

CBP officers and agents seized an average of 2,895 pounds of dangerous drugs every day at our nation’s air, land and sea ports of entry. See what else CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2022.

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.

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: Aug 03, 2023