U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Indianapolis have seized 400% more parcels containing marijuana compared to this time last year, a total of 3,730 pounds of marijuana. This would have had a street value of $12 million.
From October 1, 2022, to Mar 31, 2023, officers have seized 525 parcels containing marijuana. This time last year during the same timeframe officers only saw 105 packages containing marijuana. The total amount of marijuana has increased also. Last year officers seized 899 pounds of marijuana compared to the 3730 pounds this year; that is a 314% increase.
Indianapolis’s Port Director, Jeremy Brodsky, emphasized that criminals are desperate and will take any measures within their reach to get their illegal narcotics across U.S. borders. “Our officers have been trained to identify and stop shipments that pose a threat to our nation and our international counterparts. We are committed to the CBP mission and continue to assist our law enforcement allies around the world.”
CBP enforces the laws of the United States and U.S. laws have not changed even though marijuana is legal in several states and other countries. Although medical and recreational marijuana is legal in those instances, the sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana is illegal under U.S. Federal Law.
The shipments were arriving from various countries and heading to various locations all over the globe. Most vacuum sealed packages were concealed in packages and mis-manifested in hopes CBP officers would not find them. However, due to officer expertise, the technology CBP uses to identify suspicious packages, and the use of canines most packages never reach their destination.
“The work of our officers has been incredible and their dedication to CBP’s enforcement mission is evident when you look at these narcotics seizures,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “Drug traffickers are persistent in their attempts to smuggle hard narcotics into the United States, however, through our hard work and vigilance we will continue to intercept these dangerous drugs at our port of entry before they can harm our communities.”