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Philly CBP Intercepts New Synthetic Designer Drug

Release Date: 
March 23, 2012

PHILADEPHIA—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed March 14 that a white powdery substance that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers initially detained in an international parcel Feb. 23, is Methoxetamine (MXE), a new designer drug and unapproved for sale in the United States.

This is the first interception of MXE in Philadelphia. CBP officers intercepted a combined 63 grams in three zip-lock sealed baggies in an international parcel shipped from the United Kingdom and destined for Hollis Center, Maine. Each baggie was labeled "Not for Human Consumption." CBP officers submitted samples to the FDA the following day for testing. 1

MXE, also known as M-Ket, Kmax and Mexxy, is a chemical class of pharmaceutical. It is a synthetic derivative of Ketamine, a drug used in human and veterinarian medicine. Users typically snort or swallow MXE.

CBP officers seized the MXE for violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. According to the FD&C Act, a new drug may not be introduced into interstate commerce without an FDA-approved application. The MXE is also considered a misbranded new drug because it does not include directions for use.

"Experimenting with misbranded synthetic pharmaceuticals can be extremely dangerous, and is a classic case of caveat emptor, buyer beware. There have already been an unacceptable number of reported deaths in our communities from designer drug overdoses," Allan Martocci, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadephia. "Customs and Border Protection remains committed to protecting American consumers by working with our enforcement partners and intercepting harmful or illicit products at our nation's ports of entry."

MXE is still relatively new to the United States recreational drug culture. According to CBP's Laboratory and Scientific Services staff, CBP officers have recorded six previous seizures of MXE in Chicago and Houston.

CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing passengers searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.

* Editor's Note: Please contact Steve Sapp at (215) 594-4117 or for pictures of the MXE powder.


Last modified: 
February 3, 2021