BALTIMORE — Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted a shipment of poppy seed pods bound for an address in Cecil County, Maryland, in Baltimore on Wednesday.
Officers inspected the UK express delivery marked “Decoration” and discovered three brown paper bags. Officers opened the bags and found a total of 13 pounds of poppy seeds.
Officials took and tested samples of the poppy pod seeds, which showed the presence of morphine and codeine. Morphine and codeine are naturally occurring opiates in opium poppies.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, opium is a highly addictive non-synthetic narcotic that is considered a Schedule II controlled substance.
Only licensed companies are allowed to import opium poppies legally and only from legitimate sources in regulated countries. For example, the pharmaceutical industry legally imports and extracts opioid alkaloids from mature dried plants for medicinal use. However, consumers are prohibited from importing opium poppy pods and opium straw, which is the poppy plant without the seeds, and opium poppy cultivation in the United States is illegal.
CBP officials confiscated the poppies for destruction.
“Communities across the United States continue to grapple with the opioid epidemic, and as such, Customs and Border Protection officials remain committed to intercepting shipments of opioid products, including in their raw form, whenever we encounter them,” said Marc Calixte, Acting Area Port by CBP director in Baltimore.
CBP seized 4,732 pounds of illegal narcotics at our country’s borders every day in fiscal 2021. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during A Typical Day in 2021.
CBP’s Border Security Mission is directed at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo, looking for illegal narcotics, undeclared currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer products, prohibited agriculture, and other illegal products that could harm the American public, US businesses, and our country’s security and economic vitality.
Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, stories and photos of human interest and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.