US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati have seized more than $1 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine bound for destinations around the world.
The first discovery occurred on October 17 when CBP’s Narcotics Detection Dog (NDD) “Bico” alerted agents to a plug set en route from California to New Zealand. Officers inspected the shipment and found that the casing around the tools had been emptied and filled with methamphetamine.
On October 25, officers seized a shipment of tea sets bound for Australia that were contained in two felt-lined suitcases. Beneath the felt were blue corrugated inserts sealed with duct tape that leaked white powder that later tested positive for methamphetamine, CBP said.
On October 26, CBP NDD “Betty” alerted officers to a shipment of racing jackets coming from Canada and headed for Australia. Inside the lining of the jackets, officers found thin plastic packets of cocaine. Not long after, agents inspected another Australia-bound shipment that contained a cosmetic machine concealing cocaine.
On the next shift, CBP NDD “Otos” alerted officers to another Australia-bound shipment containing a marble chessboard. Hidden inside the base was a cavity filled with cocaine, CBP said.
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On October 28, officers inspected a shipment headed for Italy. The shipment contained children’s books and puzzle boxes containing “white crystals.” CBP said they later tested positive for methamphetamine.
Later that day, officers discovered cocaine packed inside the walls of a speaker amplifier in a shipment headed to Hong Kong from Barbados.
The following week, “Bico” tipped off officers about a lead apron filled with packages of cocaine wrapped with black tape in vacuum-sealed bags.
Four days later, officers found methamphetamine hidden in water filters in transit from New Jersey to New Zealand. The next day, ten packages of cocaine were removed from a hospital bed being moved from Alberta, Canada to Australia, CBP said.
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In total, the narcotics seized included about 74 pounds of cocaine and 24 pounds of methamphetamine, which have a US street value of up to $1.2 million, CBP said.