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August 25, 09

NEWS / Opium Saturated Wood Chips Seized at International Mail Facility

Chicago — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 officer working with his partner, Rambo, seized more than 10 pounds of opium at the Chicago foreign mail facility on Tuesday. CBP K-9 Rambo detected the shipment of opium while screening arriving international mail at the foreign mail facility at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

The parcel manifested as “Lao Traditional Medicines” was shipped from Laos and destined to a residence in St. Paul, Minn. The CBP K-9 officer opened the parcel and discovered 29 plastic bags containing wood chips and leaves. The woodchips and leaves field tested positive for the presence of opiates. The 29 bags of opium saturated woodchips and leaves had a combined weight of 4.77 kilograms or 10.5 pounds.

These particular seizures at the foreign mail facility have become commonplace. Since September of 2008, CBP officers located at the foreign mail facility have made more than 60 opium seizures for a combined total of more than 300 pounds. The methods of concealment have ranged from opium secreted in bars of soap to twigs and leaves saturated with opium to sticks of opium wrapped in plastic, concealed in bottles of lotion.

“The successes of the CBP K-9 enforcement teams continue to be outstanding and this seizure further illustrates how effective our K-9 teams are,” said David Murphy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in Chicago. “CBP canine teams continue to demonstrate why they are a vital component of CBP and they continue to excel in detecting illegal narcotics no matter what the manner of concealment used.”

CBP officers and agriculture specialists are stationed at the foreign mail facilities located throughout the country. CBP is continuously screening arriving international mail and on the lookout for any type of contraband or prohibited items being shipped to the United States.




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