Law enforcement in Cincinnati intercepted a creatively designed ploy to smuggle drugs into the country, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release.
“On February 13, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati intercepted smuggled narcotics in a shipment of cereal originating from South America,” the release said. “The shipment contained about 44 pounds of cocaine coated corn flakes, which could have a street value of up to $2,822,400.”
A narcotics detection dog named “Bico” is credited with the bust, as he alerted CBP officers to an incoming freight shipment from Peru. That shipment was eventually headed to a private residence in Hong Kong, authorities said.
But the cocaine-covered cereal won’t make it to its intended destination. It was tested, and then seized by CBP.
“When officers opened the box to take a closer look, they saw that the cereal contained white powder, and the flakes were coated with a grayish substance,” the press release said. “Officers tested the flakes and powder and found they contained cocaine, a schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act.”
Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie made a statement about the bust.
“The men and women at the Port of Cincinnati are committed to stopping the flow of dangerous drugs, and they continue to use their training, intuition, and strategic skills to prevent these kinds of illegitimate shipments from reaching the public,” he said.
He also noted that drug smugglers are willing to disguise their shipments in “anything imaginable.”
That’s not the only unusual bust made by CBP in Cincinnati recently.
In late January, the federal law enforcement agency intercepted 500 counterfeit STIHL chainsaw chain sharpeners. Those fake products were shipped from Hong Kong, and were on the way to Indiana. Had the products been real, they would have been worth $20,000, CBP said.
“Outdoor power equipment can be dangerous when the components don’t work the way they were originally designed to do,” Gillespie said after that bust. “This is an unusual seizure, but a critically important one, and our officers once again show how their training and skill enables CBP to be a strong frontline of defense against faulty goods that can endanger the lives of innocent citizens.”
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