U.S. News

Customs and Border Protection intercepts more than 1,000 pounds of meth, cocaine chemicals from China

By Mike Heuer   |   April 16, 2024 at 5:57 PM

April 16 (UPI) -- Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago on Thursday seized a shipment from China containing methamphetamine precursor and a cocaine cutting agent, the CBP announced Tuesday.

A narcotics detection dog named Aldo helped CBP officers discover and detain 26 boxes of unknown powders that subsequent testing showed were 1,117 pounds of meth precursor and 225 pounds of cocaine cutting agent, agents said.

Advertising
Advertising

"Our ability to collect intelligence and the experience and knowledge of our officers were key in stopping these shipment," said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, field operations director of the CBP's Chicago field office.

CBP spokesman Steven Bansbach told UPI the shipment from Shenzhen, China, arrived via air cargo with Wood Dale, Ill., as its destination. Wood Dale is about 25 miles northwest of Chicago.

Testing identified the powders as BMK methyl glycidate, which enables the production of methamphetamine, and benzocaine, which is a commonly used cocaine cutting agent.

"Transnational criminals exploit dependencies and addictions to sell their illicit goods," Sutton-Burke said. "Our officers are trained to identify shipments that contain these potentially dangerous substances and will continue to work to keep private citizens and their families safe."

CBP officials say they partner with the Department of Homeland Security to obtain intelligence and align resources to disrupt transnational criminal organizations that produce, distribute and traffic fentanyl and other synthetic drugs in the United States.

The CBP's border security mission targets 328 ports of entry in the United States.

The CBP in February intercepted more than 6 tons of meth and in November $2.7 million worth of meth at the Texas border.

The CBP also intercepted methamphetamine shipments worth tens of millions of dollars at the California-Mexico border and 140 pounds of meth in paint containers in Cincinnati last year.

The CBP says it also seizes thousands of pounds of increasingly larger shipments of fentanyl every year, including 27,023 pounds last year, which is nearly double the 14,700 pounds seized in 2022.