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CBP Discovers Dangerous Ketamine Inside an Ottoman Destined to Maryland

The parcel was shipped from Brussels, Belgium and was destined to an address near Washington, D.C.

One month after discovering ketamine concealed inside candles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Philadelphia discovered an additional ketamine load concealed inside an ottoman.

While inspecting international express delivery parcels on February 10, CBP officers examined a box labeled as a storage ottoman because it felt heavier than an ottoman should. Officers probed structural pieces of the ottoman and discovered a white powdery substance that officers identified as ketamine hydrochloride by using a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool.

The parcel was shipped from Brussels, Belgium and was destined to an address near Washington, D.C.

CBP officers kept the ottoman and ketamine intact and turned the parcel over to special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who continue to investigate.

The ottoman pieces that concealed the ketamine weighed a combined 7.23 kilograms, or about 16 pounds.

Ketamine hydrochloride is a Schedule III non-narcotic compound regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. According to the DEA, ketamine, commonly known on the street as Special K, is used in both human and veterinary medicine to induce sedation, immobility, and relief from pain. It has recently been used by medical professionals for mental health and substance use disorders. Ketamine is abused for its ability to induce dissociative sensations and hallucinations, and has also been used to facilitate sexual assault. Typically, ketamine abuse occurs among teens and young adults at nightclubs and private parties. Overdoses can lead to nausea, irregular heart rate, muscle stiffening, unconsciousness, and respiratory failure leading to death.

“Transnational criminal organizations continue to employ a variety of tactics to smuggle illicit narcotics into the United States, but Customs and Border Protection officers are highly skilled at detecting their concealment methods,” said Joseph Martella, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Philadelphia. “We want to assure the public that CBP remains committed to keeping our country and our communities safe from the scourge of dangerous drugs.”

Read more at CBP

Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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